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Thursday, March 14, 2013 - Electronic Medical Record Enhances Residents’ Care

Electronic Medical Record Enhances Residents’ Care
Paul Oliver Living and Rehabilitation Center implements new system

A new electronic medical record at the recently renamed Paul Oliver Living and Rehabilitation Center improves efficiencies and offers important safety and quality measures for residents.

“This system not only provides key technology in our nursing home, it also provides key electronic links to Munson Medical Center and their physicians,” said Connie Napier, R.N., director of nursing for the center. “Our nurses are already seeing improved efficiencies that support quality of care.”

The HealthMEDX system recently implemented at the nursing home is tailored for long-term care facilities. It eliminates cumbersome paper charting and offers real time assessments of patient care.

“We have immediate access to lab results, comprehensive and daily clinical assessments, medication use, and we electronically capture day-to-day activities of patients that will improve the efficiency in planning care to meet the individual needs of each resident,” Napier said.

Implementing an electronic medical record at Paul Oliver Living and Rehabilitation Center also enables the facility to meet the standards of care set by and monitored by CMS, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, said Administrator Jim Austin.

“Paul Oliver Living and Rehabilitation Center is a pioneer in bringing this technology to northwest Michigan,” Austin said. “Many other nursing homes are already looking at the system we adopted.”

Napier said her care team worked long hours during the past year to plan for implementation of the system. She sees real enhancements that help the work flow for both nurses and nursing assistants.

Immediate access to clinical information allows nurses to quickly respond to changes in a patient’s medical condition and better implement timely interventions. The EMR also allows nurses to look at rehabilitation records through the EMR that were not available on the unit prior to its implementation.

“This helps physicians and nurses understand a patient’s progress or lack of progress,” she said. The electronic medical record allows certified nursing assistants to access the patient record to capture daily living activities of residents.

Medical Director of the Paul Oliver Living and Rehabilitation Center Gerard Mahoney, D.O., said he used an electronic medical record while serving with the U.S. Navy. “I’m excited about the nursing home utilizing this technology,” he said. “It will help us continue to provide high quality care.”

Allowing nurses and certified nursing assistants to decrease the time spent on paper charting also gives staff more time to spend one-on-one with residents.

“The increased time staff can spend with the residents will decrease their feelings of hopelessness, loneliness, and helplessness,” Napier said. “We believe this also may impact the need for antidepressant and antianxiety medications that put residents at risk for falls, dehydration, confusion, and weight loss.”

For more information on Paul Oliver Living and Rehabilitation Center, call (231) 352-2208.