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January 21, 2011

Emergency Department implements electronic medical records system

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The Emergency Department at the University of Virginia Health System has implemented an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system delivered through MEDHOST, provider of a leading emergency department information system. With this system, UVA Health System can now provide patient registration, patient tracking, nurse and physician documentation, order entry, results retrieval, prescription writing, medication reconciliation and discharge documents with greater speed and ease.

“The number one impact is on patient safety. An electronic medical record puts all the patient information in one place at the bedside in the hands of the care providers,” said Ed Meyers, project coordinator of the emergency department at the UVA Health System. “Various care providers don’t have to deal with legibility issues related to hand written charts. The program improves communication between care providers-all leading to better informed care providers and safer patient care.”

MEDHOST’s tracking module provides visual real time alerts that enhance communication between clinicians, improve workflow and ultimately lower patient wait times. MEDHOST is designed with patient safety in mind, and built in alerts notify clinicians of possible allergic reactions, abnormal vital signs and overdue patient assessments.

The following shows how MEDHOST has improved patient tracking:



Paper and pen chart

Electronic chart

Hand written orders

Pre-written standardized orders

Basic patient tracking capabilities

Enhanced patient tracking showing real-time information on patient’s progression through visit

Hand written prescriptions

Prescriptions printed from application preventing potential mis-interpretation by fulfilling pharmacy

Verbal/Cell phone communication

Integrated paging system that notifies staff of key events during the patient visit as they occur

No physician notification of lab/test results complete

MedHost has visual and paging notification of when lab and radiology results are available for physician review

Clinical staff utilize various resources to inform selves of drug interactions, dosing guidelines and interactions

Built in notification of potential interactions real-time during prescribing and administration

Paper chart that had to be scanned into enterprise-wide clinical repository, turn around time 12-36 hours

Electronic interface with clinical repository, allowing the ED medical record to be available to the rest of the care team at the time the ED visit is complete.

According to Meyers, the MEDHOST EMR system is compatible with other medical center technological programs. It also will interface with the medical center laboratory and radiology areas.

“The clinical staff has been very receptive to the system. They gave lots of input on the configuration and our interaction with the system improved over the last week,” Meyers added.

The staff also received plenty of training. Mock patients were used to test the system’s tracking, documentation and interface abilities before it went live.

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