ValleyCare Health System, Others Set To Implement Health IT Applications
The Contra Costa Times on Tuesday looked at the information technology plans at ValleyCare Health System, which will include computerized medical records and electronic access to test results. The technology should reduce missed orders and errors from illegible handwriting.
The system will allow the hospital's emergency department staff to record medical information -- such as complaints, allergies and medications -- on a computerized chart, which will provide constant access to physicians and nurses. The electronic charts also will feature patients' room numbers and will note whether the patient has been seen by a physician.
Physicians will use handheld devices to write prescriptions and discharge orders and to order lab tests and X-rays, the Times reports. The system also will alert physicians and nurses of possible adverse drug interactions. Lab results will be integrated with patients' medical records, and the records will feature different icons to signal whether a result is normal or if it needs immediate attention, the Times reports. The hospital expects to have the A4 Health Systems technology fully deployed by fall.
Other area health systems also are transitioning to electronic records systems. For example, John Muir/Mt. Diablo Health System four years ago implemented the same records system in its ED that ValleyCare is installing. Also, Sutter Health is computerizing its medical records, and Kaiser Permanente is working to automate its systems, the Times reports (Silber, Contra Costa Times, 2/1).