Sentara eCare® Reaches All Sentara Hampton Roads Hospitals
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Sentara eCare® Reaches All Sentara Hampton Roads Hospitals 

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Sentara Obici Hospital adopted electronic medical record system on September 25

SUFFOLK, Va. (September 2010) When the clock struck midnight on Saturday, Sentara Obici Hospital completed the implementation of Sentara eCare®, an electronic medical record system that helps caregivers provide more timely, safe and efficient patient care. In addition to the implementation of Sentara eCare®, Sentara Obici Hospital upgraded all its technology systems to fully complete its Sentara integration.

Sentara eCare® is an electronic medical record system that allows for the secure sharing of patient information across physical boundaries – including hospitals, physician offices, diagnostic centers and patients’ homes. Sentara decided in 2005 to invest more than $230 million into this effort and has been working steadily to bring its physicians, hospitals and patients onto this new technology platform. Hospital implementation began in February of 2008 and this upgrade at Sentara Obici marks the completion of all seven Sentara hospitals across the Hampton Roads region.

“This conversion marks a major milestone for our hospital,” says Kurt Hofelich, vice president and administrator of Sentara Obici Hospital. “We’ve incorporated lessons learned from the six Sentara hospitals who have already implemented Sentara eCare® and our skilled clinicians and medical staff at Sentara Obici Hospital have contributed to enhancements that our other six hospitals will benefit from as well. It’s been a very effective collaboration among a host of experienced staff members to help support a successful implementation.”

“Going live” means the end of paper medical records. To prepare, nursing units are outfitted with additional computers – some fixed and some mobile - and all staff and physicians working within the facility are trained on how to access the record and make notes within the new electronic format.

“The staff are embracing this new technology as a tool to provide even better patient care,” adds Hofelich. “Sentara has already proven that the electronic records and resulting access to data helps drive improvements to care. We’re excited to be fully engaged as part of that ongoing effort.”

Sentara eCare® brings tremendous patient care benefits.
Sentara eCare® has brought dramatic clinical improvements in hospital care, including a reduction in average length of stay for patients, a reduction in hospital readmission rates, shortened length of time from admission to bed assignments, decreased times from medication orders to administration, and prevented more than 100,000 potential medication errors across its hospitals operating on the Sentara eCare® platform.

Perhaps the most notable measurement in the success of electronic medical record adoption is the rate at which physicians enter their own orders, known as computerized physician order entry. By entering orders directly into the record, there is less chance for confusion in handwriting interpretation and built-in system alerts can draw immediate physician attention to potential problems. With 87% computerized physician order entry, Sentara hospitals are using Sentara eCare® better then the national average.

In addition, Sentara Medical Group physicians use Sentara eCare® and over 30,000 residents in the region now utilize the Sentara MyChart patient portal to communicate with physicians, schedule appointments, request refills, view test results and more.

It was announced last week that Sentara was honored with the 2010 HIMSS Davies Award in recognition of the System’s ability to improve patient care through the use of the Sentara eCare® technology. This award follows additional significant acknowledgements for Sentara: receiving the HIMSS Analytics Stage 7 Award in recognition of the highest level of electronic medical record adoption and several consecutive years being listed to the Most Wired listing, published annually in Hospitals & Health Networks magazine.

Sentara is the only integrated healthcare system in the country to receive all three distinctions related to its Information Technology systems. In addition, Sentara CEO David Bernd was recognized by Modern Healthcare magazine with the 2010 CEO IT Achievement Award.

“While this upgrade is happening at Sentara Obici Hospital, it has much larger implications for our community,” says Hofelich. “We are part of a regional effort to change the face of medicine and improve quality for our patients.”

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