In development we often focus on progress we can see, like new renovations, buildings or equipment, but sometimes the most impactful changes happen behind the scene. The updated electronic health record system that Firelands Regional Medical Center released this past year is a perfect example of progress that is felt rather than seen.
On September 1st, 2017, Firelands Regional Medical Center upgraded its electronic health record system to the latest version, Meditech 6.1. Meditech 6.1 is a web-based, automated electronic health record that connects care across many settings, enabling clinicians to provide higher quality care, with greater efficiency, to more people. This major 'infrastructure' upgrade required significant engagement across the health system, with over 200 Firelands staff members and providers directly involved in the process.
Historically, technology has been introduced into healthcare in a siloed fashion with individual service lines or providers handling their own individual systems. But Firelands recognized that coordination of care and patient-centered processes required systems and people working better together.
For providers, Meditech 6.1 delivers universal access to the complete patient story across all the settings of care. The innovative, streamlined process Meditech 6.1 provides to physicians and staff allows medical personnel to fully focus on the patient, improving efficiency in the delivery of care. The upgrade simplifies record-keeping - it becomes one patient with one chart.
The upgrade has also improved clinical surveillance, alerting and providing better information to clinicians about their patients. The simplest way to think about this is that the systems may aid in alerting doctors and nurses of situations that will help them prevent problems in addition to treating them.
Along with the electronic health record upgrade, also came a new patient portal, which allows the patient to take more ownership of their health. From one Firelands service to the next, from admission to discharge, the patient can view information on their care across many settings. The upgrade has been beneficial for physicians, medical staff, patients, and guests.