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Electronic charting begins at Royal Inland Hospital ER

Sherri Morrish, clinical practice educator, displays the new electronic medical record system’s “computer on wheels” that will be used to record information right at the patient’s bedside in the Royal Inland Hospital Emergency Department.
Image Credit: Contributed
April 11, 2016 - 12:00 PM

KAMLOOPS – Interior Health is pleased to announce that Royal Inland Hospital’s Emergency Department will launch its new electronic medical record (EMR) system tomorrow, April 12.

“Delivery of safe, quality care for our patients is at the core of what our health professionals do every day. Implementing a new electronic medical record system in Royal Inland Hospital’s Emergency Department will advance us on this important quality journey,” Health Minister Terry Lake says.

“The new EMR system will enhance patient care by allowing health professionals to input medical information directly into a computer system, instead of creating written orders using paper and pen,” says Todd Stone, Kamloops-South Thompson MLA. “This will reduce the risk of human errors in patient-care decision making that can occur through use of a written order system.”

Interior Health (IH) has long been a leader in health information management systems innovation, including the implementation of an advanced clinical information system for the inpatient unit at South Okanagan General Hospital in Oliver. However, Royal Inland’s $1.7 million EMR project will be the first in IH to launch within an emergency department.

The EMR not only helps reduce the potential for misunderstanding and misinterpretation of written physician orders, but it also enables immediate access to a patient’s medical information for all members of his or her health-care team, both within the hospital and in the community upon discharge.

“Interior Health has been a provincial leader in the development and implementation of technology solutions to enhance quality patient care. Implementation of the EMR at RIH continues to build upon this impressive, transformative work,” says Erwin Malzer, Interior Health Board Chair. “After we have had the opportunity to confirm the effectiveness of the EMR implementation in the Emergency Department, our intention is to roll it out throughout RIH, and across Interior Health.”

RIH has been busy training physicians and nurses to use the EMR system, as well as making some necessary renovations to the Emergency Department to accommodate the system changes. These renovations are largely complete, although patients should be aware that some work may still be occurring over the next few days.

The EMR will be implemented in phases. Additional staff, physicians and volunteers will be added to provide support during the transition to the new system.

“There may be times during implementation that short delays will occur as employees become accustomed to using the new system. These will be monitored and adjustments will be made, to ensure that quality patient care remains priority at all times,” says Dr. Anders Ganstal, Chief, RIH Department of Emergency Medicine. “These are exciting times for us. Health professionals will benefit by having accurate, instantaneously available, and easily transmittable information for all members of the integrated care team – both in the hospital, and also in the community after the patient leaves Royal Inland.”

Interior Health appreciates that the new electronic medical record is a change in practice at RIH, and we want to thank the public for its patience as we transition to the new system, which will ultimately provide more seamless, patient-centred care for residents in the Kamloops region.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016
InfoTel News Ltd

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