|Dr. John Tsai talks with a patient in a Student Health Services exam room.|
Student Health Services (SHS) recently went live with an electronic medical record system, eliminating the need for paper-based records and paving the way for a greener practice.
An advanced software package developed exclusively for student health centers, the new system improves scheduling, access to patient records and patient care management.
The system will substantially reduce the amount of paper needed to maintain a patient's chart, says Debbie Jackley, SHS marketing and health services relations coordinator.
Dr. John Tsai says the deployment is going well. “It's a completely different way of doing things–a paradigm shift, like going from a horse to a car.”
Other benefits of the system are:
- Improved electronic access to patient information
- Patient education handouts linked to diagnosis
- Electronic orders for labs, X-rays and prescriptions sent to each area for processing
- Legible medical records
- Patient requests for discharge summaries to reinforce instructions and education
After the first phase, SHS will launch the Web-based component. Patients can then make appointments on the Internet, send secure messages to medical staff and view lab test results. Implementation is scheduled for January.
Although the system will improve efficiency, service levels may be affected during the first few months, as the staff adjusts to a new way of doing business, Jackley says. “As everyone gets up to speed, service will become seamless for our patients.”