Electronic Health Record Helps Transform Patient Care

From 2006-2010, under the banner of "great information, great care," UW Health installed an electronic health record (EHR) across all inpatient and outpatient settings. Now, patients and clinicians are reaping the quality and safety benefits.


With an integrated suite of applications, the EHR helps UW Health faculty and staff provide better, safer and more consistent care and more personalized service to patients.


The EHR ensures a smooth and secure flow of information, including automated medication interaction checks and best practice alerts. Patient handoffs are safer because information is entered consistently and is readily accessible to all caregivers. Documentation is more complete because each patient's full record is in one place. The EHR also allows staff to spend more time with patients by automating some tasks previously done by hand.


The transition to an electronic record prompts a transformation in the delivery of care and requires a huge level of organizational commitment. Throughout the process, hundreds of employees configured and installed various applications. Staff from all phases of clinical operations designed and tested the EHR components. And support teams provided at-the-elbow support during a succession of "go lives."


In fiscal year 2009 alone, UW Health tackled 20 massive installation projects and trained 5,734 staff and 1,853 physicians on the full range of EHR applications. UW Hospital and Clinics was recognized by the Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) as the first academic hospital to attain Stage 7, HIMSS's highest level of EHR adoption.


Now, with EHR implementation complete, UW Health continues to fine tune the system to make an even greater impact on quality of care and maximize its benefits to remain one of the best-performing hospitals in the nation.


Date Published: 08/09/2010

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