Reading Health System successfully completed its installation of Reading HealthConnect, a comprehensive electronic health record system that creates “one patient, one record,” on Feb. 3.
All Reading Hospital inpatient departments are completely operating on Reading HealthConnect to streamline interactions between clinical information provided by physicians, hospitals, and satellite sites and the business data involved in registration, scheduling, and billing.
"With the Reading HealthConnect 'go live,' Reading Health System has completed in 18 months what many health systems take five years or more to achieve," said Reading Health System Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jorge Scheirer. "We expect any impact on operational efficiency to be short-term and expect daily improvement."
Currently, more than 65,000 clinically active patients have been added and are operational in the new system which enhances quality of care and clinical outcomes by allowing real-time access and updates to records as the patient navigates throughout the continuum of care.
Whether the individual visits a physician’s office, the hospital emergency department, or a laboratory testing site, the information is recorded immediately in the chart and is ready for viewing by any of the individual’s care providers. The information includes the patient’s medical history, family medical history, previous diagnoses, lab tests results, medications, allergies, and other data crucial in providing healthcare to the individual.
Patients may also access their records online through MyChart, a secure personal health record portal, via browser or mobile application. There are more than 7,000 current patients using MyChart, which allows them to:
By completing the Reading HealthConnect “go-live,” all inpatient nursing units and inpatient/outpatient departments of Reading Hospital and Reading Health Rehabilitation Hospital are added to the system, which also includes 32 physician practices, which were activated this past summer.
The conversion from siloed systems to Reading HealthConnect began in 2011 with the selection of Epic Systems Corporation, of Verona, Wisconsin, as Reading Health System’s partner in creating an electronic health record. Physicians, nurses, and other clinicians, as well as IT, records, finance, and registration experts provided input on selecting the software and participated in tailoring the program to fit specific needs.
Countless hours of training and education have been conducted in advance of the implementation, resulting in all physicians and staff members who touch patient records becoming certified in operating the electronic health record system.
In addition to staff training, more than 600 consultants who specialize in launching electronic health record systems have joined Reading Health System experts to provide “at the elbow” support during the initial weeks of operating the new system. A central command center is available 24/7 to also support users and resolve operational issues.