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Metro Health Goes Entirely Electronic: First West Michigan Hospital to Have Integrated EMR

Posted: February 11, 2010

Metro Health Hospital is now the first West Michigan Hospital to offer fully integrated medical records – whether patients are visiting a primary care physician, specialist or the emergency room.The new system, MetroConnect, provides instant access for both patients and participating healthcare providers to medical records, including health history, test results, medications, diagnoses and treatments. MetroConnect makes it safer and easier to provide – and to receive – better healthcare, allowing patients to renew subscriptions online, correspond with their doctors via e-mail for basic questions, review bills and schedule appointments online.

 

The benefits of MetroConnect include:

  • Accurate information: Both patients and physicians have access to the patient’s medical history, allowing providers to be able to see test results, treatment history, prescription medications, patient instructions and related issues in real time.
  • Convenient access: Patients will have the ability to view chart information, bills and test results 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They are also able to schedule appointments and renew prescriptions online.
  • Shared details: All health care information can now be shared easily between primary care physicians, specialists and others involved in health decisions.
  • Reduced medical errors: Computerized order entry reduces the likelihood of mistakes in interpreting handwritten orders and information.
  • Health history: The EMR tracks key health statistics throughout a patient’s life, eliminating the need to transfer records – and allows health care providers to identify patterns useful in preventing, diagnosing or treating conditions.
  • Security: Built-in electronic security features, such as data encryption and password protection, ensure the security and privacy of all information.

"This has been a tremendous undertaking that has required the effort and commitment of all of our physicians and employees," said Mike Faas, CEO and president of Metro Health. "Our investment, both in time and dollars, has been substantial, and we are very pleased to be the first major health system in West Michigan to fully integrate medical records.

"No matter where you are in the Metro Health system, MetroConnect ensures that our team will have up-to-date, accurate information at their fingertips, allowing them to spend less time hunting through charts and more time caring for patients. We feel this will improve the quality of patient care, safety and outcomes."

The hospital began the shift to EMRs in 2006 when it began converting its neighborhood outpatient centers to electronic record keeping. At that time, Metro Health was the first healthcare system in West Michigan to utilize EMR in the ambulatory setting.

Metro Health recently linked its hospital, including labs and clinics, surgical suites, in-patient facilities and the emergency room, with the neighborhood centers and other Metro specialists together via MetroConnect.

MetroConnect is powered by Epic, the leading provider of software for mid-size and large healthcare organizations. A team of several hundred professionals, including information technology specialists, physicians and nurses, have worked to customize the software packages to meet the needs of Metro Health, which annually serves more than 130,000 patients in West Michigan.

"At Metro Health, our goal is to provide the best experience for our patients, physicians and staff and community," said Bill Lewkowski, chief information officer. "MetroConnect is a tremendous asset to West Michigan, underscoring our commitment to be a leader in patient care, patient safety and technology.

"As our nation begins to mandate that all healthcare providers move to EMRs, we are very proud to be the first health system in our community to complete the transition."



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