By Susan Gager
KWCH 12 Eyewitness News
9:43 PM CDT, September 12, 2012
Via Christi starts up a new electronic medical record system this week. It will make sharing detailed patient files easier from clinic to clinic. However there's a learning curve to overcome for medical staff and they're asking patients to be patient.
“The years or days where an old paper chart where it's kept at the doctor's office and you know what's in it, that's gone away and so patients have access to their chart and they should,” said Via Christi’s Medical Informatics Executive Dr. Brendan Rice.
Much like the world wide web, doctors are eager for a universal medical record system where one day you can go anywhere in the country and a doctor can pull up your chart with a click of the button.
"Eventually that where states are headed-- they will be connected," said Dr. Rice.
This week, Via Christi has taken a smaller, but still very important step. It’s getting all its clinics on one uniform electronic records system.
“At Via Christi we're really wanting to have an integrated medical record so all healthcare providers can get into the same record and certainly with security concerns,” said Dr. Rice.
Safety and security a top concern for hospitals as patient records are entering a large pool of accessible records. By 2016 all providers have to be connected to the Kansas Health Information Exchange, which will one day be part of a nationwide exchange of patient records. At Via Christi, the new system gives all doctors the ability to take care of patients better.
“…to be able to not have to repeat tests or do any harm because of not knowing correct medications or allergies and safety is a huge priority, especially at Via Christi.
During this week’s transition they’re asking patients:
“…to be patient because certainly it takes some getting use to as with everything. Certainly the next couple of weeks are going to be a bit rougher getting used to the system,” said Dr. Rice.
As for those old paper charts, Dr. Rice says much of Via Christi's old records are stored in the Hutchinson salt mines. The lack of paper has freed up patient rooms once used for storage.
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