Kaiser Completes Nationwide Roll Out of Outpatient EHR System
On Monday, Kaiser Permanente announced that it has completed the installation of its outpatient electronic health record system for more than 8.7 million members in nine states and Washington, D.C., the San Francisco Business Times reports.
The EHR system, called HealthConnect, allows Kaiser's 13,000 physicians nationwide to access outpatient medical records. Implementation of HealthConnect, which Kaiser says is the largest privately funded EHR system in the world, began in Hawaii four years ago and was completed this month in Northern California.
Ravi Poorsina, a Kaiser spokesperson, said the cost of the EHR installation is about $4 billion, including $1 billion for maintenance.
On the inpatient side, only 13 of Kaiser's 36 hospitals have installed its inpatient EHR system, according to officials. Thirteen hospitals in California and one in Oregon are slated to adopt the system this year, and the remaining nine hospitals will follow in 2009 and 2010, Poorsina said.
After HealthConnect was implemented, Kaiser experienced "an immediate and marked" increase in the efficiency of outpatient care because of the availability of enrollees' clinical data at all times in every Kaiser outpatient clinic and medical office, Kaiser officials said (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 5/5).
A survey of Kaiser physicians found that by using the EHR system:
- 85% of medication administration times and doses were more legible and correct; and
- 75% of clinicians said the electronic medication administration system provided a more safe and reliable communication tool (Monegain, Healthcare IT News, 5/5).
Patients also can use the EHR system to view personal health records, schedule appointments and request prescription refills. They also can use it to access lab tests, eligibility and benefits information, and pediatric immunization records.
Kaiser used a number of applications, including software from Epic Systems, to build the EHR system (Health Data Management, 5/5).
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