Electronic Medical Records Implemented in Castine



CASTINE — Castine Community Health Services is the second of Blue Hill Memorial Hospital’s physician practices to implement electronic medical records (EMR) technology.

 

Island Family Medicine began using electronic medical records earlier this month.

The Castine EMR project is costing approximately $60,000. Expenses include hardware, software, training and work flow analysis. Donors are contributing to the cost of the project.

Deborah Turner, vice president for physician practices, points to the EMR project as a sign of Blue Hill Memorial Hospital’s long-term commitment to its Castine practice.

The staff has been working on the project since March. In addition to undergoing extensive training, clinical staff members have been loading more than 1,000 patient records.

“We don’t anticipate a major interruption in patient care,” said practice manager Jinnie Perkins. “Patients may notice a laptop computer in the exam rooms and some of our visits may take a little longer. This is just temporary, however, until our providers are more comfortable using the software.”

The EMR project enhances more than a patient’s routine primary care. Electronic medical records of Castine Community Health Services patients will also be accessible within Blue Hill Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Department, some specialty practices and the inpatient unit.

“Rapid, online access to a patient’s medical history can make a tremendous difference when a patient is acutely ill,” said Dr. Erik Steele, the hospital’s interim CEO. “Using the EMR, an on-call provider can quickly identify any drug allergies, and providers within the hospital itself can review recent lab tests and other critical information. EMR technology is especially useful to us as we treat older patients, who tend to have more complex problems.”

The Castine practice’s electronic medical records will eventually be accessible to patients from home.

For more health news, pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American.

 

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