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TCMC implements Cerner Millennium platform in Emergency Departments

Cerner : 25 March, 2008  (Application Story)
Tri-City Medical Center (TCMC) has implemented the Cerner Millennium healthcare computing platform to improve patient care and increase compliance in the ED setting.
A 16-solution Cerner Millennium suite has been implemented throughout the hospital, including the emergency department, leading to many time-saving benefits and more efficient communication among providers. Through computerised physician order entry (CPOE) in the ED, clinicians have immediate access to information that standardises patient handoffs, which is a key national Patient safety goal of The Joint Commission, a nationwide symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards.

“After experiencing the many benefits of CPOE with medications for more than three years, we cannot imagine practicing in an environment without an integrated electronic medical record,” said Dr Reid Conant, chief medical information officer, Tri-City Emergency Medical Group. “CPOE in the emergency department is quickly becoming the gold standard for a safe and efficient patient care delivery system.”

TCMC also participates in D2B: An Alliance for Quality, a programme launched by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) to help save time and lives in US hospitals performing primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). Guidelines set forth by the American Heart Association say hospitals treating ST segment elevation myocardial infarction patients with emergency PCI should reliably achieve a door-to-treatment time of 90 minutes or less. Through the use of Cerner technology and process improvement, TCMC has reduced that time from 121 minutes to 73 minutes on average.

In addition to these improvements, TCMC’s use of healthcare information technology has contributed to the realisation of other benefits, including a more efficient medication administration process. The time needed for medication processing from order transcription to administration has decreased from more than one hour to 12 minutes.

The use of Cerner’s integrated system also has allowed TCMC to improve communication with its community physicians and increase referrals. With the former paper-based community clinic-referral system, TCMC would receive only about 50 referrals a month.

The integrated system now automatically creates a custom referral report that pulls patient information, such as name, demographics, clinical data and medication information, and securely transfers the referral data to providers at the clinic each day. ED-to-clinic referrals have increased to more than 500 a month, leading to improved access to care for underinsured and uninsured patients.

“Emergency rooms across the country are overwhelmed with providing efficient care to a growing population,” said Trace Devanny, Cerner president. “Tri-City’s healthcare information technology project has allowed it to not only increase its patient load, but to provide safer care, which ultimately leads to more successful health outcomes.”

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