Pacific Business News reports:
Four billion dollars worth of electronic health records going online. This is a major milestone on the path to reform. It is also the latest evidence of the massive steps taken by Kaiser since 2004.
Kaiser Permanente said Monday that all of its 8.7 million enrollees in nine states, including Hawaii, and the District of Columbia have access to HealthConnect, an outpatient electronic health record Kaiser says is the world's largest of its kind.
Officials at Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser said all of Kaiser's 13,000 physicians nationwide now have electronic access to patients' medical records in the system's 421 medical offices and clinics.
But Kaiser still has a ways to go on the inpatient side. Officials said 13 of its 36 hospitals (34 of them in California) have installed the EHR software, giving 3.2 million enrollees the advantages of an inpatient EHR system. Some 14 hospitals are slated to do so this year, including 13 in the Golden State and one in the Portland, Ore., metropolitan area.
The remaining nine hospitals, including the Moanalua clinic on Oahu, will follow in 2009 and early 2010, said Kaiser spokeswoman Ravi Poorsina.
"Electronic medical records are a cornerstone tool for improving quality and safety in health care. Doctors should have all of the information about all of their patients all of the time. Only a computer and an EMR can do that work," George Halvorson, chairman and CEO of the nonprofit Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals, said in Kaiser's May 5 statement.From eliminating unnecessary duplication of medical tests to coordination of care, this rollout of EHR capabilities is already noted by Kaiser as vastly improving care delivery. 75% of Kaiser clinicians find it a more efficient and effective communication tool, while over 85% find that it makes administering medications safer and more accurate according to statements.
SOURCE: "Kaiser finishes phase of health records project" 05/05/08
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