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Electronic Health Record Now Live at Texas Health Denton
12/08/2011

ARLINGTON, Texas — Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton recently implemented an electronic health record (EHR) system throughout the hospital. The Denton “go-live” means that all 13 wholly owned Texas Health Resources hospitals are now linked through the EHR and have the capability to share information across the health system.

“Going live with our powerful electronic health record is great news for patients and their families in Denton County. In addition to the EHR’s proven capability to reduce medical errors and improve the quality of care, it also gives patients and their families access to information they did not have before,” said Stan Morton, FACHE, president of Texas Health Denton.

Texas Health Denton patients, families and physicians on the medical staff now have access to a surgery management and scheduling system offered for the first time in Texas Health hospitals. One feature enables family members in the waiting room to track the progress of a patient’s surgery. Family members follow a unique code on a status board as it changes color based on the surgery’s progress, from pre-operative through recovery. The status board is driven by data entered into the EHR by nurses in the various stages of surgery.

“This is a wonderful benefit for family members who are already anxious as they wait for their loved ones to move through surgery,” said Jeff Reecer, Texas Health Denton’s vice president for operations. “They no longer have to wait for a nurse to come out to the waiting room for updates. This helps us better serve our patients and their families.”

The surgery management and scheduling system also enables physicians to review securely stored patient information before surgery and submit their orders for the various phases of surgery in advance. The orders are released within the system as the patient moves through surgery, so physicians do not have to be called for orders at each phase.

“We’ll add increased functionality for our EHR through next year to benefit patients and caregivers,” said Reecer.

The computer-based electronic health record collects, organizes, shares and manages clinical and administrative information, and is used by physicians on the medical staff, nurses and caregivers throughout the hospital and with other linked facilities. Since 2006 Texas Health has invested more than $200 million in its EHR, which contains more than 4.7 million patient records.

The system’s EHR is operating at a high level of capability and patient safety, with all 13 hospitals having achieved Stage 6 designation on their EHR from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), the nation’s major health information technology association. Reaching the sixth of seven stages means the hospitals have implemented barcode medication verification to help prevent medication errors. Only 5 percent of U.S. hospitals have reached stages 6 or 7. Texas Health hospitals are now working toward the final stage of HIMSS EHR recognition.

Barcode medication verification allows nurses to use bar code scanning technology, similar to a supermarket checkout, prior to administering medications to confirm patient identity and medication information against patient data in the EHR.

“Barcode medication verification is an enormous patient safety benefit for our nurses across the Texas Health system,” said Joan S. Clark, D.N.P., R.N., senior vice president and chief nursing executive of Texas Health Resources. “Nurses always ask patients questions such as their names and birthdates to verify medications, but the EHR provides electronic backup that you’re in the right room with the right medication for the right patient.”

“Our ultimate goal is to provide the best possible care for our patients and their families,” said Stephen C. Hanson, FACHE, Texas Health’s senior executive vice president for system growth and integration. “The electronic health record enables us to take advantage of technology to improve the quality of our care. The investment of time and money we’ve made to implement the EHR will pay off many times over in improving safety, efficiency and outcomes.”

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health systems in the United States. The health system includes 24 acute care and short-stay hospitals that are owned, operated, joint-ventured or affiliated with Texas Health Resources. It includes the Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Arlington Memorial and Texas Health Harris Methodist hospitals, a large physician group, outpatient facilities, and home health, preventive and fitness services, and an organization for medical research and education. For more information about Texas Health Resources, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org.

About Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton is a 255-bed acute-care, full-service hospital that has served North Texas and southern Oklahoma since 1987. The hospital’s services include: heart and vascular; a Level III neonatal intensive care unit; orthopedics and sports medicine; neck, spine and pain management; emergency medicine; an accredited sleep center; women’s services; and a weight loss surgery program that has been designated a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence. As one of the largest employers in Denton County, Texas Health Denton has more than 900 employees and more than 300 physicians on the medical staff practicing in more than 43 specialties. Texas Health Denton is an accredited chest pain center, and is certified by the Joint Commission as a Primary Stroke Center and designated by the State of Texas as a Primary Stroke Facility. Texas Health Denton is an affiliate of Texas Health Resources, one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit www.TexasHealth.org/Denton.

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