Why “Being Wired” Is Good For Your Health
Eight ways technology improves the patient experience.
A hospital that is “wired” can have major benefits for patients, allowing for better, safer, and more efficient care.
To understand just how the patient experience is impacted, we’ve interfaced with a leader in technology integration, Crozer-Keystone Health System. For 10 consecutive years, Crozer-Keystone has been recognized as a “Most Wired” health system by the American Hospital Association.
Crozer-Keystone’s IT innovations are part of a long-term plan put in place to make sure physicians and other care providers consistently have the right tools for the job. “We are cost effectively aligning people, processes and technology in order to provide higher quality and safer care for our patients,” explains Don Reed, Crozer-Keystone’s vice president of Information Services and Chief Information Officer.
In honor of Crozer-Keystone’s consistent success in the annual “Most Wired” survey, here are several ways that a hospital’s technological advances can improve the patient experience.
More Face-to-Face Time. With bedside computers readily accessible, Crozer-Keystone nurses are able to have longer, more meaningful interaction with patients. “They’ll be entering data into the chart through the bedside computer and thus increase patient contact time,” says Gail Turley, administrative director for Clinical Informatics at Crozer-Keystone.
Instant Access. Electronic health records (EHRs) let physicians access test results and patient history instantaneously through their computers regardless of their location.
Hands-on History. Closely tied to EHRs, the Crozer-Keystone Health Network’s Patient Portal allows patients to have a role in their personal health, giving them the ability to access test results, request a medication refill, and communicate with Crozer-Keystone physicians. This physician practice patient portal can be found at MyCKHealth.org. It’s important to note that Crozer-Keystone’s Virtual Patient Portal is completely secure, requiring a username and password for all information. In July, the health system will introduce a “CKHospital” portal containing data related to patients’ hospital stay.
MAK Factor. Through bedside medication administration checking, also known as MAK, care providers can instantly verify accurate dosages before giving them to patients. All medications used within the health system now have a barcode, and patients have a barcode of their own on an ID armband. Nurse station devices and mobile carts on each unit help to accommodate barcode processing and scanning.
Proactive Outpatient Assistance. Crozer-Keystone services don’t end when you leave the hospital. Crozer-Keystone Health Network physicians use “proactive care forms,” which remind physicians when patients are due for certain health services, such as screenings.
Orderly Entry. Rather than relying on verbal or handwritten instructions, “Computerized Provider Order Entry” (CPOE) brings greater accuracy, fewer delays in care, and better outcomes for patients. This innovation will be implemented at all Crozer-Keystone hospitals by the end of 2014.
Back-up Plans. In case of emergency, having a reliable data recovery and restoration system is necessary to keep clinical data available for patient care.
Prescription Power. E-prescribing allows a physician to send your prescription right to the pharmacy from his or her desktop. Karen Scoles, M.D., Crozer-Keystone Health Network primary care physician and Medical Director of Information Systems, notes how e-prescribing is a valuable tool to help doctors better manage care for their patients. She adds that technological innovations aren’t just ideas waiting to be realized. “They’re right out there now at the point of care,” she says.
Crozer-Keystone Health System
Crozer-Keystone Health System (CKHS), a not-for-profit health system (501c3 status), was established in 1990 and comprises five hospitals, including Crozer, DCMH, Springfield, Taylor, and Community Hospitals; the Crozer-Keystone Health Network, a network of primary-care and specialty physicians; outpatient centers including the Crozer Medical Plaza at Brinton Lake, the Crozer Health Pavilion, and Media Medical Plaza; the Crozer-Keystone Surgery Center at Haverford; and the Healthplex® Sports Club in Springfield. The annual “Most Wired” survey, in which Crozer-Keystone has received national recognition for 10 consecutive years, is sponsored by Hospitals & Health Networks (HHN), the flagship publication of the American Hospital Association.
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