Banner Health completes electronic medical record implementation in Colorado
GREELEY, Colo. (Aug. 1, 2011) — This week North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley put into place one of the last components to give all Colorado Banner Health hospitals a comprehensive, enhanced electronic medical record (EMR) system.
NCMC implemented computerized provider order entry, which means physicians enter patient orders for medications, therapies and other clinical services into a computer rather than write orders with pen and paper. In addition to the provider ordering aspects of the system all care provided to the patient is documented in the system which can be reviewed by other clinicians providing care to the patient from any location that connects to the Banner network.
Positive patient identification scanning is also part of the system that verifies that the right medications are given to the right patient at the right time at the right dose and the right route of administration is being followed. McKee Medical Center in Loveland implemented its enhanced electronic medical record system in July 2009. Sterling Regional MedCenter in Sterling and East Morgan County Hospital in Brush implemented this same system earlier this year.
NCMC is at the same level of enhanced electronic medical records of other Banner hospitals that recently were recognized among 118 hospitals nationally as being “Most Wired” in US News & World Report’s popular Best Hospitals publication. In the fall, McKee will implement Positive Patient Identification bringing the hospital to the same level.
This effort is part of a $250 million investment in an electronic medical record system by Banner, which owns or operates 23 hospitals in seven states. All Banner facilities will have the system in place by the end of summer. The successful implementation of these systems into Banner’s Colorado hospitals demonstrates the ability of large systems to procure, implement and continually upgrade them.
“It is our patients who will benefit from this enabling technology that is now a standard across our entire system,” said Banner Health Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer John Hensing, MD “In addition to providing real-time information at point-of-care that clinicians can use to make critical decisions while they are caring for patients, our system’s 24/7 monitoring and alert capability allows us to uniquely address specific diseases and other health issues,” Hensing continued.
Banner uses computerized alerts that will bring to the attention of a nurse or physician subtle changes occurring in a patient’s condition as well as information on evidence-based treatments that a clinician can consider to deal with these changes. An especially dramatic example of this in Banner hospitals is an alert that notifies nurses and physicians when a patient shows signs of sepsis – a life-threatening condition associated with infection. In addition to this alert the clinicians are provided an algorithm bundle of treatments that have clinically demonstrated effectiveness in treating sepsis.
Sepsis is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, and early identification and treatment has been shown to significantly reduce mortality. With the alert, Banner Health has achieved a mortality rate for severe sepsis of 15 to 17 percent in ICUs, compared to the national rate of 28 percent to 50 percent listed by the Surviving Sepsis Campaign.
Another alert that “fires” when physicians order CT imaging scans has resulted in significant reductions in the use of CT imaging, which is a growing concern due to radiation exposure to patients. This has increased the awareness of the issue by physicians and also has caused a decrease in the number of CT scans being ordered.
Patients will benefit from this system in other areas as well, according to NCMC’s Chief Medical Officer Sheldon Stadnyk. The system:
- Allows the provider to access a patient’s information from any computer and focus on the overall health of the patient rather than just the current encounter.
- Helps reduce unnecessary tests because the provider can see what recent tests or medical images have been done and can look at those results. This reduces cost, radiation exposure related to medical imaging and risk of incorrect test results and improves comfort and convenience for the patient.
- Alerts providers to allergies and potential drug interactions.
- Allows for easier and faster access to the medical record when a patient transfers from one Banner facility to another.
For more information about innovations taking place at Banner Health, please visit www.bannerhealth.com/innovations.
ABOUT BANNER HEALTH
Banner Health is one of the country’s largest nonprofit health care systems. Located in seven states, Banner Health owns or manages 23 health care facilities as well as physician practices and nationally recognized research centers. To learn more go to www.bannerhealth.com.