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Industry Leader in Electronic Medical Record Systems to be Installed at Grand Itasca

8/8/2012

Grand Rapids, MN - On August 17, 2012, Grand Itasca Clinic & Hospital will be adopting a new electronic medical record (EMR) system.  This computerized system completely replaces patient’s paper charts.  Patients will now have one electronic medical record that is shared by all of their Grand Itasca care providers including -  both the clinic and hospital, home care, rehab and more.  This delivers a more complete picture of one’s medical history, allowing providers to make the best recommendation about medical care.

 

Grand Rapids, MN - On August 17, 2012, Grand Itasca Clinic & Hospital will be adopting a new electronic medical record (EMR) system.  This computerized system completely replaces patient’s paper charts.  Patients will now have one electronic medical record that is shared by all of their Grand Itasca care providers including -  both the clinic and hospital, home care, rehab and more.  This delivers a more complete picture of one’s medical history, allowing providers to make the best recommendation about medical care.

Grand Itasca will be using EPIC – the nation’s industry leader in electronic medical record management systems and has purchased EPIC from Allina Health Systems.  Allina’s version of EPIC is called Excellian.  Allina has been working with Grand Itasca to install and support this patient-centered technology.

“This will be a huge improvement from the current system, “ said Jean MacDonell, Director of Grand Itasca’s health information and Excellian project lead. “Care providers will have faster access to test results and any visit information from the clinic or hospital.  Patients will notice quicker access to their test results – they can log-in securely from any Internet connection to see key pieces of their medical record.”

From the patient perspective, the EMR is a time saver as patients provide details of their medical history only once (including allergies, medications and prior health conditions). Clinical staff will only ask to verify that the information is current. Information in patients' medical records may be printed for transfer to another facility outside of Grand Itasca or an Allina-affiliated facility.

In addition, caregivers have faster access to medical history, medications and prior health conditions. As a safety enhancement, the new system automatically crosschecks allergies and current medications with any new prescriptions physicians are considering - reducing the chances of negative interactions.

One of the most notable improvements the EMR system will offer is accessibility. Records will be available to multiple providers at the same time. This will reduce duplicative tests and procedures.

The preparations necessary to transition from paper charts to an EMR are time -consuming. Hundreds of Grand Itasca employees have spent months preparing for the switch. "The benefits of using an EMR are substantial. It's a lot of work, but the outcome will be improved quality of care and ultimately that's what we strive for every day," MacDonell said.

 

The move to electronic records allows caregivers an easier path to patient information. Access is strictly monitored to ensure patient information is accessed only for direct patient care purposes.

“We strictly monitor who is accessing your chart and perform regular audits to ensure that private patient information is accessed only for medical reasons.  One of our top priorities is to ensure patients’ private information is treated with the utmost respect, “ MacDonell continued.

“The benefits of using EPIC are tremendous.  Not only is the information more organized and streamlined, but it also creates additional safeguards for patients and our staff.  It is an invaluable tool that we are excited to offer our community.”

To accommodate the implementation of EPIC, the Grand Itasca Clinic will not have clinic hours on Saturday, August 18, 2012.  Regular clinic hours will resume on Monday, August 20th, 2012.

For more information about Grand Itasca's EMR, go to www.granditasca.org.

Grand Itasca Clinic and Hospital is a non-profit, integrated delivery system that employs over 600 people. The integrated clinic and hospital, described, as a “modern expression of hospitality and healing” is home to over 60 physicians and other care providers including specialists in Orthopedics, Ob/Gyn, Pediatrics, Podiatry, Radiology, Urology, Plastic and General Surgery and Acute Rehabilitation.