San Luis Obispo County Hospitals Implement Electronic Emergency Room Management Systems
Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center and Twin Cities Community Hospital in San Luis Obispo County have implemented software to improve patient flow and reduce wait and discharge times in the emergency room, the San Luis Obispo Tribune reports. Using the system, doctors and nurses at the hospitals -- both of which are owned by Santa Barbara-based Tenet Healthcare -- can enter patient status and order medications and tests on computer screens. Each hospital's ER has 14 monitors and four or five handheld devices, which show the layout of the ER, including which beds are empty. The system is configured to display on the handheld a patient's status and alerts staff when medications need to be administered, an X-ray is needed or the patient is ready to see a doctor. Instead of manually writing their orders, physicians can enter prescriptions, nurse instructions and other information directly on the monitors. ER staff can access patient records instantly. Tauny Sexton, a Sierra Vista nurse and the hospital's ER manager, said that hospital personnel are still becoming familiar with the system, but added that she expects the staff to be more comfortable with the system within two months. To date, the system has not shortened patient ER wait times, but wait times should decrease as employees become familiar with the software, Sexton said (Van Beurden, San Luis Obispo Tribune, 9/9).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.