AGH digital records will mean better care

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Next step toward electronic health record begins October 24 — thank you for your patience

Jane Adams, Almonte General Hospital

Almonte General Hospital is taking the next step toward an Electronic Health Record for its patients. On October 24th, phase two of the new Cerner system will go live to support better, safer patient care. Thank you for your patience and understanding over the next few weeks while staff learn to work in a new way.

“The main hub for the patient electronic health record was launched last March – and now it’s time to add some significant spokes,” said project manager Katharine Gahan. This month the clinical electronic documentation system will be added and there will be changes in lab, pharmacy and health records.

With the new system, nurses, doctors and other clinical staff will use mobile work stations to input all documentation electronically. Built-in prompts and reminders will ensure that best practices are followed and care is standardized.

In the lab and pharmacy, new systems will increase patient safety with enhanced features to check for errors, drug interactions and other red flags. The new health records system will allow better tracking of charts to ensure patient privacy.

One of the key benefits is real-time information.  Care plans and reports will be available as soon as they are entered into the system. Midwives and Family Health Team physicians are also connected.

Over the past few months, extensive planning and staff training has been underway. But it will take time for the entire team to get used to new ways of doing things. Extra staff will be on hand to help during this steep learning curve but things may take a bit longer and staff may seem tentative. That’s all part of the learning process. The team appreciates your understanding.

Patients coming for care at AGH should go to the registration desk located in Emergency, which will be staffed around the clock. Emergency patients will be seen by a triage nurse. Day Hospital patients will still register right at the program.

“As we move from a paper-based to electronic system, the result will be more coordinated care for our patients. We will also have more data to support our patient safety and quality initiatives,” sums up Mary Wilson Trider, President & CEO.

AGH is implementing the new system as a member of the Georgian Bay Information Network – a partnership of six hospital corporations across three Local Health Integration Networks. Funding support has been provided by the Ministry of Health’s Small Rural Northern Transformation Fund.