Electronic Patient Registration, Barcoded E-Forms & Wristbands Improve Patient Safety and Care

doctorElectronic health records are widely acknowledged as a key element in achieving more affordable, efficient, and effective health care. St. Joesph's Health Centre, an award-winning full-service hospital in Toronto, Canada, is embracing this concept with its comprehensive, multiphase e-Care project. The e-Care plan will convert all paper health care records to barcoded electronic versions by March 31, 2014, offering complete and accessible online documentation of each patient's history at the hospital. The plan utilizes the Intelligent Forms Suite (IFS) from Access to achieve this goal, and will ultimately improve patient safety, cut costs, and establish a more collaborative workflow.

Access is a global leader in electronic forms (e-forms) management, workflow and automation, and is the leading electronic forms choice for Canadian hospitals, so St. Joseph's choice of Access IFS Suite is no surprise.

"We were looking for an electronic forms management system that would generate barcoded forms and patient wristbands on demand, enable electronic downtime registration, and integrate with our Meditech and Allscripts systems," said St. Joseph's Health Center project manager Bohdan Sadovy. "Access best satisfied these criteria, and has a proven track record working with hospitals in Canada."

The new electronic forms system has made drastic improvements in the workflow at St. Joseph's. The emergency department (ED) and patient registration previously used pre-printed forms produced by an in-house print shop and third-party forms vendor. Staff would create a blue plate with demographics and stamp it to the patient's form. The process was labor-intensive and time-consuming. Any changes in patient information made the old form useless, and required the whole process to be repeated. Problems with scanning the forms also arose to due faded ink and misaligned stamping.

Access IFS allows staff to electronically register a patient into the Meditech system. An electronic forms packet is dynamically built with patient demographics pre-filled and barcodes applied. The Access e-Forms Repository (EFR) enables the ED to print electronic forms on demand, and to easily make changes or updates on the record. Each form has clear, legible patient demographics, improving scanning accuracy and patient safety. The ED is a high-volume department, which in 2010 served 93,000 patients, and being able to print what they need, when they need it, eliminates waste and saves time. Access IFS provides a single e-forms access point across the enterprise, and ensures only current forms are used.

Sadovy explains, "It's easy to create or modify a form in Access Intelligent Forms Suite, and when we do an update it is immediately available. With Access e-Forms Repository we can print barcoded forms as they're needed and filter what patients and forms can be viewed. The product also gives us the flexibility to print more forms and labels before a patient moves from the ER to an inpatient visit." Access EFR supports HIPAA and JCAHO compliance by ensuring users only interact with the patient forms and data they are authorized to use.

The Access Patient Safety Suite also allows staff to generate barcoded wristbands at the point of admission. This further improves patient safety by ensuring that the right patient is receiving the correct care. "We needed a product that supported several different barcoding types for uses such as glucometers and ECG machines, and enabled us to print both forms and labels without leaving their Meditech Magic screens," Sadovy said. "The Access system meets these needs and as we acquire more clinical devices that use barcode recognition, it will help further enhance patient safety."

One other main criteria of the electronic forms management solution was downtime registration. Access is the world's leader in electronic forms management downtime solutions for Meditech and Allscripts. Sadovy says, "In the event our ADT system goes down we want to be able to register patients electronically, and will be able to do this with Access Intelligent Forms Suite. This will help us provide continuous patient service."

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