Health Care Reform and electronic medical records

As health care reform continues to progress, technology plays a critical role. It is designed to contain costs, improve patient access and increase value. Electronic medical records are a key component of health reform. The adoption of Electronic medical records began with the HITECH Act.

What system is being used by Memorial and how does it work?
• Memorial and Memorial Physicians has been on the cutting edge of electronic medical records going back to the early 2000’s.
• For our outpatient clinics, we use a system called eClinicalWorks.
• The hospital is on a different system called Sorian.

How do electronic medical records improve care?
• Communication is improved among providers locally and nationwide.
• The communication can be done in real time since we no longer have to rely on fax machines or snail mail.
• We are seeing an improvement in the coordination of a patient’s care that should ultimately result in cost savings by avoiding duplication of tests, services, medications, etc.

What sorts of features does eClinicalWorks have?
• Our patients have access to lab results, they can schedule appointments, see a summary of their visit and receive health education materials from their provider through our Patient Portal.
• 18,000 of our patients have already signed up for the Patient Portal

How do electronic medical records benefit the physician and their relationship with patients?
• Patients like the information they are receiving.
• Interestingly enough, our older patients have really taken an interest in the portal. Older patients tend to be more engaged in their health care and this is one way they are accessing information.

What types of security protocols are in place so people can feel comfortable knowing their health information is safe?
• Our patients must sign up in person at their clinic.
• People access the secure Patient Portal through a unique login and password.
• The information can be accessed through a computer, tablet, smart phone – whatever is convenient for the patient.

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