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Ohio State Expands Use of EMRs

The latest technology is resulting in safer and more patient-focused care at The Ohio State University (OSU) Medical Center with a conversion to a fully integrated electronic system for all medical records.

“This is an extension of the electronic medical record technology that we have had in place since the mid-1990s,” says Hagop Mekhjian, MD, chief medical officer at Ohio State. “It only makes sense to look for opportunities to provide patients with greater access to their healthcare providers while ensuring a single medical record follows them during their care.”

Ohio State’s leadership in the use of EMRs prompted a visit today by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who viewed examples of HIT during a tour of Ohio State Medical Center’s Martha Morehouse Medical Plaza.

OSU Medical Center has been using a PHR, OSUMyChart, since 2008. It allows patients to better manage their medical information and increase interaction with the healthcare team. The secure online portal provides patients with immediate access to view their outpatient medical record information while also allowing direct communication with office staff and their medical providers.  

Patients are utilizing the portal to do the following:

• view health summaries, including current health issues, medications, allergies, immunizations, and medical, surgical, and family history;

• request a renewal for current medications ordered through OSUMyChart;

• view and chart their home test results such as glucose, blood pressure, and weight;

• send appointment requests, as well as cancellations, or reschedule requests;

• with proxy access, view another person’s health information or communicate on their behalf; and

• utilize secure messaging for nonurgent medical advice.

“Whether it’s medical advice, requesting appointments, renewing prescriptions, or sharing information seamlessly within the healthcare team, OSUMyChart puts more information at our patients’ fingertips,” says Neeraj Tayal, MD, an assistant professor of internal medicine who is leading the implementation effort along with Milisa Rizer, MD, MPH, clinical director of the outpatient EMR project.  

OSUMyChart is available at numerous family practice and internal medicine offices, as well as ambulatory care sites for the Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital and The James, with implementation at all outpatient facilities by 2011.

While the outpatient EMR project is more than 50% complete, it represents the first step toward creating an integrated health information system by 2011. Once the inpatient conversion is complete, a single medical record will follow patients across all clinical areas within the OSU Medical Center.

“Combining disparate systems in a single record strengthens safety and quality while ensuring a more efficient experience for our patients,” says Mekhjian.

Source: Ohio State University Medical Center