Smooth move to electronic records in PT

Peninsula Daily News

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PORT TOWNSEND — Jefferson Healthcare hospital’s conversion to an electronic record system went smoothly, according to the project manager.

“It went really well,” said John Nowak, project manager for Epic at Jefferson Healthcare, after the hospital went live with the new system at 2 a.m. Saturday.

“The staff has done an amazing job of dealing with this transition,” he added.

The state-of-the-art electronic health record system lets doctors throughout the region access patients’ medical charts in real time.

Most hospitals in the state — including Swedish Medical Center and its partner, Providence Health & Services, both of which are affiliated with North Olympic Peninsula hospitals — already use Epic.

Olympic Medical Center, based in Port Angeles, went live with Epic on May 4.

Forks Community Hospital has no plans to switch.

Preparing for the change at Jefferson Healthcare was a massive job, Nowak said,

About 450 of the 500 employees at the hospital required some kind of training.

“The vast majority of people here have been touched by this transition,” Nowak said.

Jefferson Healthcare staff converted 40,000 patient demographics — names, addresses, account numbers — to the electronic system, Nowak said.

That total number represented the people who visited the 25-bed hospital or any of its 40 providers in its nine clinics in the past two years.

Specialists now will be adding information about medications, allergies and other data, Nowak said.

Full medical records will be converted manually as patients arrive for scheduled visits, a process that could take six months.

“In the first 24 hours, we’ve had no major problems,” Nowak said.“We’ve got a long way to go, but we’re off to a really good start.”

Last modified: June 16. 2013 6:22PM
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