Electronic system links
hospitals’ medical records

An advanced electronic medical records system is changing the way medicine is practiced at Hawaii Pacific Health's four hospitals and 20 ambulatory care clinics on Oahu and Kauai, says a primary care physician at Straub Clinic & Hospital.

"Now, when I get a call in the middle of the night, I can look up a patient's information online to find out what other clinicians are thinking about the case," said Dr. Dale Glenn.

"We could never do this before. Having that kind of information at your fingertips is priceless. Without it, in the middle of the night, your only option to be safe was to send the patient to the ER for a full evaluation."

The system integrates all the patient's medical records with scheduling, registration and billing for inpatient and outpatient visits and gives doctors access to emergency record data.

Paper medical records will be replaced with electronic data linking more than 1,100 doctors and more than 500,000 patients across the Hawaii Pacific Health network. It is expected to be complete by 2008.

The electronic system has been installed in recent months at Wilcox Memorial Hospital, Kauai Medical Center and the Eleele Clinic on Kauai and at Straub and Kapiolani Medical Center at Pali Momi on Oahu. It is expected to be running at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children in March.

Officials said the integrated patient record system will include state-of-the-art patient safety systems to reduce medical errors. Physicians will have a comprehensive view of patients.

Data will include lab test results, medication histories and physician's notes from any Hawaii Pacific Health facility.

Steve Robertson, vice president of information systems, said, "Our electronic medical records system is one of the most comprehensive and patient-centric systems ever implemented in Hawaii."

Doctors said they expect the technology to lower costs and errors, and improve continuity of care and patient safety.

Hawaii Pacific Health

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