GILLETTE, WY – The Campbell County Memorial Hospital (CCMH) Emergency Department (ED) has transitioned to an electronic medical record (EMR) system for documenting patient information across various locations within the hospital.
An EMR is a secure electronic chart that stores patient information and allows providers to document the care the patient receives. The new system will help accelerate the treatment process in the ED, as emergency department staff will have immediate access to information from prior visits or hospitalization, such as allergies, chronic health problems, current medications, and therapies, facilitating better care for patients.
“And the system works both ways,” says Monte Haddix, RN, ED Clinical Care Supervisor. “If a patient is admitted to the nursing floor the treating physician can almost instantly see what tests or screenings were performed in the Emergency department without a phone call.”
According to Monte, the trend to more electronic documentation provides better record keeping and more reliable access to the information needed for patient care. When all providers can see the same information at the same time, the patient will benefit, he says.
After extensive testing and training, the EMR system is now in use by 100 percent by all doctors and nurses in the department. Monte believes that the system should improve average wait times at the ED after about a year. Currently, CCMH’s average length of stay is 150 minutes—this is from the moment a patient enters the ED to the moment that patient is discharged—which is 30 minutes below the national average of 180 minutes. And the average time it takes to see a doctor once you’ve entered the door is at 35 minutes. Averages are based upon the patient’s condition—patients who require x-rays or lab work may experience longer visits.