St. Elizabeth Healthcare connects physicians, patients in Kentucky

By Kyle Hardy
10:26 AM

St. Elizabeth Healthcare, a system incorporating more than 1,000 physicians in Kentucky, has begun implementation of a new electronic medical record in an effort to better connect physicians and patients.

“This represents an important step and a unified foundation to deliver better care to our patients,” said Alex Rodriguez, chief information officer, St. Elizabeth Healthcare.

“Today, only about one-sixth of the population in the U.S. is covered by an electronic health record, " Rodriguez said. "This major initiative will mean that more than 12 percent of the population of Northern Kentucky and the greater Cincinnati area will have an electronic medical record. Regardless if a patient is seen at their physician’s office, an acute care hospital or the emergency room, caregivers will have deep insight into patient history and care can be better coordinated.”

 The new system is expected to replace paper record for the 50,000 patients that St. Elizabeth Healthcare system now serves.

 With the deployment of the new system, St. Elizabeth Healthcare looks to  provide improved care to its patients by taking steps toward 24-hour access to health data. By leveraging features that allow physicians to view patient medical histories, medication and treatment plans, and lab tests results the Kentucky healthcare system expects to better enable its physicians to make more informed decisions, lowering the cost of care.

Other features of the technology allow patients to electronically obtain prescriptions, access lab results, view medical information, and electronically schedule appointments. St. Elizabeth Healthcare expects these features to help lower costs further by limiting the amount of manual intervention and reducing errors.

EKGs, X-rays, scans and prescriptions will be available to patients and physicians in real time.

Beginning in September, the EMR system’s early stages of deployment will be focused on doctor’s offices. Later on, the implementation will expand to clinics and then ambulatory care sites with the St. Elizabeth Healthcare system. By 2010 the EMR will be available to the system’s 31 primary care doctors offices and six hospitals in its final stages of deployment.

St. Elizabeth Healthcare’s EMR system uses Epic’s software and is powered by IBM Power 570 and 550 servers running AIX, IBM's UNIX operating system. The medical records and clinical information system includes EpicCare Ambulatory, Resolute Hospital Billing, EpicCare Inpatient, Prelude Registration and Cadence Scheduling.


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