Mount Carmel's electronic switch brings convention-sized impact|
OK Columbus, be nice to folks with Michigan plates this weekend. They’re stimulating the economy.
Mount Carmel Health System is switching all five of its Franklin County hospitals to a unified, comprehensive electronic medical record and financial system with old systems coming down starting at midnight Saturday. Patients occupying the system will be paper-based for a few hours as they’re re-registered in the new system by midnight Sunday.
This is no simple reboot. The system is taking up more than 500 hotel rooms to house trainers from parent Trinity Health. The Roman Catholic hospital system in Novi, Mich., is installing the computerized records, called Genesis, in its facilities nationwide. About 200 of those trainers will stay in Central Ohio about two weeks. Mount Carmel also has trained about 750 employees as “super-users,” including doctors, nurses and laboratory staff, to help their co-workers with the conversion in the coming month.
Mount Carmel started collecting digital patient data in the 1990s, and has had several separate electronic systems in hospitals and outpatient sites, extending electronic records last year to physician practices.
What’s different with Genesis is the level of unity and integration – it combines patient registration, medical records, pharmacy, billing and emergency records in one spot, supported by software that can suggest care protocols and alert staff to potential medication reactions or other ways to prevent accident and error. All physician orders will now be entered digitally.
Less than 5 percent of hospitals in the country have that level of systemwide integration, CEO Claus von Zychlin said in a news release. Mount Carmel operates East and West hospitals in Columbus, St. Ann’s Hospital in Westerville, New Albany Surgical Hospital and joint venture Diley Ridge Medical Center in Canal Winchester, an emergency department with 10 inpatient beds.
All four Central Ohio hospital systems are signed on with the nonprofit, federally supported Central Ohio Health Information Exchange that’s helping hospitals and physician practices convert to electronic medical records and qualify for federal stimulus payments. A year ago, the state received $13.8 million in federal funds to help facilitate the exchange of data between hospitals and independent physician offices so any one site can get a global view of a patient’s many visits and treatments.
OhioHealth Corp., Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center also have electronic records.
Wexner Medical Center did the switch on its inpatient hospitals last October – deliberately choosing an away weekend for the Buckeyes football team, said Phyllis Teater, chief information officer. There were about 1,000 patients registered that weekend, but there are about 2.1 million patients in the system – anyone treated since the 1980s.
Ohio State also used about 650 internal employees as “super-users” so that the knowledge of the system stays in house after the vendor trainers go home, she said.