Electronic Medical Records: A Health Care Transformation

Feb 27, 2015 | Leadership


Dave Fulcher, CEO

In 2015, Milwaukee Catholic Home will be embarking on a full conversion of its paper based medical records system to an electronic medical record platform in partnership with our new vendor, Healthmedx.

Though a significant investment of time and resources, we believe that electronic medical records will enable MCH to continue to set the highest possible standard for meeting the health care needs of older adults.

Paper based health care records have been in existence for centuries to track, record and monitor an individual’s health over time. For the last twenty years, we’ve gradually begun to see these paper records replaced by electronic records throughout the United States health system.

Two common terms used to describe the electronic record, the Electronic Health Record (EHR) and the Electronic Medical Record (EMR), are often confused with each other. It’s important to understand the differences between these two terms to reduce confusion and provide clarity when discussing electronic records.

The EMR is composed of clinical data from a single provider of health care delivery, such as a hospital or single health system. The EHR is your health record as a summary over time, bringing multiple health systems and unique patient experiences into a single repository. The EHR is still in the early stages of roll out in the United States, with challenges lying in the standardization of platforms and information exchanges that can easily transfer data.

The electronic record has three essential capabilities:
• Capturing data at the point of care, reducing errors.
• Integration of data from multiple internal and external sources, resulting in more effective integrated care.
• Most importantly, to support and inform caregiver decision making.

The new EMR will connect us with our health care partners in acute care, pharmacy services, laboratory services and government funding sources.  We expect to see smoother transitions of care between the acute care hospital and our rehabilitation center through the seamless transmission of clinical data into our record. The typical delays with paper work and manual contacting of professionals will be reduced, shortening the time for laboratory results, pharmaceutical changes and physician authorizations.

With our new EMR platform, physicians directing the care of our residents will be able to access patient records, orders and treatments as they occur, 24 hours a day, with the overall goal of reducing emergency room visits or unnecessary hospitalizations. Our medical director, Dr. James Volberding, is excited at the prospect of fast, efficient and effective access to patient information, enabling him to continue to enhance the experience of those he serves at Milwaukee Catholic Home.

Our projected go-live date for our electronic medical records platform is September 1, 2015. We welcome further questions on this important undertaking and its significance for residents, family and friends of Milwaukee Catholic Home.