Ohio Hospital Adopts EHRs

FEBRUARY 01, 2006

CMH Regional Health System's Clinton Memorial Hospital has entered its next improvement phase with the move to electronic health records (EHRs). The Wilmington, Ohio-based hospital has earmarked $18 million to install a range of clinical, financial, and operational information technology systems from McKesson Corporation. The systems, which include the full Horizon Clinicals and pharmacy automation, are designed to provide caregivers with state-of-the-art tools for optimizing quality and safety while simplifying processes and significantly reducing the amount of paperwork.

"To achieve our objective, we must invest in systems that help physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other clinicians to provide more informed, safer care. McKesson's technology will also strengthen our core business processes, from daily scheduling and management of resources, to billing, claims management, and long-term strategic planning," commented Tim Crowley, president and chief executive officer of CMH Regional Health System.

One of the hospital's main priorities is to provide physicians with secure, Webbased access to patient information, such as medication orders, test results, patient charts, and diagnostic images. The hospital pharmacists will benefit from the automation solutions that protect how medications are dispensed, as well as a central pharmacy system designed with safety checks including drug-interaction alerts. After drugs are delivered to patient floors, nurses will use handheld bar-code scanning devices at bedside to guarantee the "5 rights"of medication safety—right patient, right drug, right dose, right time, and right route. Medications given will automatically be recorded in the patient's electronic health record.

Another advantage of EHRs is a reduction in the hospital's dependence on paper. Once implemented, the health care professionals may document patient care electronically at the bedside, allowing them more time with patients. The medical record can also be viewed by all authorized medical staff involved with the patient's care.