Management Plays Key Role in Success of Electronic Patient Record System
Evanston Northwestern Healthcare's CIO claims the organization's electronic patient record system has been such a success because its board mandated that all health care workers participate in the systems' development and implementation.The secret to success for electronic health systems is not to do them halfway, says Tom Smith, CIO of Evanston Northwestern Healthcare. When ENH began its three-year, $30 million move to a fully integrated system, he says, the biggest resource was the support of the ENH board, which ensured that all 6,000-plus health care workers participate in the systems development and implementation. "This was not the No. 1 IT project, it was the No. 1 corporate project," Smith says. The system effectively shifts "the focus from the institution to the patient. This allows the record to follow the patientfrom the physicians office to the laboratory to the hospitalrather than be scattered among various providers. It integrates computerized physician order entry [CPOE] with electronic patient records, so all charting of patients; ordering of tests, procedures and medications; registration; scheduling; and physician billing is done electronically through one system." ENHs three hospitals are among 41 throughout the nation that fully comply with the CPOE standards set by the Leapfrog Group, a coalition of large employers that is setting standards for health care.
Installing the System