DWM goes NextGenPublished 2:00am Wednesday, October 10, 2012
The clanking of old metal patient charts and nurses trying to read the writing of physicians to determine patient care will soon be a thing of the past at D.W. McMillan Hospital.
Hospital administrator Chris Griffin said Tuesday marked the first run of a new electronic system of patient records for hospital staff, nurses and physicians.
“This is the beginning of a new electronic health system for us,” Griffin said. “Our goal is to be paperless in the near future. We are moving there, but will have a hybrid situation during this transition period.”
Griffin said the ultimate goal of having such an electronic health system in place is to provide error-free care for patients — the main focus of D.W. McMillan.
“We’ve been mandated to do this but it will ultimately be a good thing for everyone,” Griffin said. “This system will eliminate any errors in checking records and data. This system will help make data more easily shared between nurses and physicians and other care professionals.”
Bob Ellis, who serves as director of nursing at D.W. McMillan, said the system put into motion Tuesday was the result of months of hard work and planning for hospital staff and members of the NextGen group who helped set up the new system.
“”We’ve been working really hard on this for the last 18 months,” Ellis said. “We’ve been conducting intensive training for our staff and our physicians to be ready to use this system.”
Ellis said the system will allow him to have more access to records of patients receiving care at D.W. McMillan.
“By having this system in place, I will be able to monitor the care of our patients without having to physically go to the nurses station and pull charts for each patient,” Ellis said. “This will allow ease of access to those records and increase the accessibility for other providers.”
Ellis said if a patient were transferred from the local facility to an out-of-town healthcare facility, the electronic access to records would allow seamless care for the patient.
“We are here for the patients we serve,” Griffin said. “Anything we can do to provide more up-to-date care for our patients is our goal. Bob Ellis has been a strong leader for this change. Debbie Geist and a lot of key people have been working hard to make this new system a reality for our community.”
Tuesday was filled with a celebration of sorts to reward employees for the hard work and as an encouragement for the days ahead.
“We provided cupcakes for our employees and even had a few prizes to give away,” Griffin said. “They ahve worked hard and it shows. We will have some rough days ahead as we go through this transition.”
Griffin said the change Tuesday and the days leading to the switch had gone well and were a testament to the dedication of the staff and employees at D.W. McMillan Hospital.
“I’m pleased with how things have gone with this transition,” Griffin said. “It is proof that those long hours of hard work by a lot of people will be beneficial for our patients. After all, the patient is our main focus — that’s why we’re here.”