Many healthcare companies are starting to see the benefits of using an electronic document management solution to establish a more efficient and productive business system. One such healthcare company based in Jacksonville, Florida, decided to use electronic medical records and ECM technology in an effort to go paperless, according to a report from the Jacksonville Business Journal.
“In 2003, it was the vision of our leadership and the board of directors that we would implement a system wide EMR in 2003 because we recognized, even back then, the many advantages of electronic medical records over paper records,” states Hugh Greene, President and CEO of Baptist Health. “These include enhanced patient safety, improved clinical outcomes, prevention of medication errors and better security of records.”
The new medical record program will be named SHIELD, or Safe Health Information and Electronic Data, and will be implemented first at Wolfson Children’s Hospital and Baptist Downtown. The Jacksonville Business Journal said the goal is to have an system wide electronic medical record solution that helps local hospitals, primary care centers and any related physician offices. Baptist Health also wants to see labs, radiology services and pharmacies make the move toward a paperless existence with this new system.
HealthCare News previously reported on healthcare systems and hospitals going paperless which featured comments from Diane Lares, a consulting manager for PMSCO Healthcare Consulting in Pennsylvania. Lares said many doctors were still uncomfortable about going paperless, despite the problems that arise when relying on paper charts.
“The paper chart is very comfortable for clinicians,” she told the news source. “Although there are difficulties in finding charts periodically (up to 30 percent of the time, according to some studies), and finding information in the chart sometimes proves challenging, the thick chart has a strange allure to physicians. Having the information available in a hard copy is appealing. Some physicians, who have had little exposure to electronic medical records or computers, find that the transition from paper to electronic can be emotionally traumatic.”
Even so, once a hospital or healthcare company fully implements a paperless way of working, they can save time and money, and improve efficiency, allowing doctors and nurses to take all-around better care of patients. While growing pains are inevitable with any new technology at a big business, hospitals should consider going paperless with electronic content management to make things simpler for doctors, improve patient care and streamline administrative processes.