Once again the electronic records come to the rescue here. Even if a hospital is not completely set up and ready to completely go electronic, a few tablets with Microsoft One Note would help the ER congestion easily, with MDs being able to share patient files and then still being able to print to the paper chart until a conversion is done for the entire facility and the conversion from the tablets would be fairly simple. The notes can be encrypted and shared between physicians and easily faxed via the PC to the records department. Hardware on the tablets can easily serve as the gatekeepers for permission to enter data and the units can be carried from one area to another. BD
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - It’s the sort of promotion you might expect from a pizza delivery chain, not a U.S. hospital system.
“If someone has to wait a long time it is less likely they’re going to come back,” said Deborah White, spokeswoman for Carondelet Health, which owns two acute-care hospitals in Kansas City that launched a “30-minute guarantee” program on June 1, even as a competing hospital chain pledged to see patients within 15 minutes.
But with the new focus on efficiency, electronic tracking boards report on patient status. Physicians type their orders into databases directly, allowing for faster handling of the ill and injured.
“There was a lot of resistance in the rank and file of physicians at first. They thought it was basically a marketing ploy,” said William Berk, vice chief of emergency medicine for one of seven hospitals in the Detroit Medical Center system, which saw 300,000 emergency department patients last year and just completed a total system streamlining.