UAB Medicine launches one patient record for all clinics

The latest advance in patient care from UAB Medicine will enable all patients to have one electronic health record for all its clinics, updated in real time.

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Caregivers will enter patient information into an electronic health record (EHR) that can be shared electronically, securely, throughout the hospital and clinics using the system named IMPACT — Improved Methods of Patient Information Access of Core Clinical Tasks.

Caregivers will enter patient information into an electronic health record (EHR) that can be shared electronically, securely, throughout the hospital and clinics using the system named IMPACT — Improved Methods of Patient Information Access of Core Clinical Tasks.

The IMPACT electronic health record is being deployed in five phases through 2012. In May it was implemented in various units in The Kirklin Clinic and UAB Highlands plus satellite clinics in Hoover, Inverness, Morris, West End, Bessemer and other locations.

“We are closer than ever to our goal of true patient-centered care, where all patient information will reside in one location and can be accessed from anywhere by our providers and, ultimately, by the patient,” says Stephen Stair, M.D., physician executive sponsor.  “Although there will be many challenges, this will lead to revolutionary improvement in quality and coordination of care for our patients, and I’m excited to be involved.”

Sergio Stagno, M.D., president of the University of Alabama Health Services Foundation, says IMPACT is the most ambitious project since the construction of The Kirklin Clinic.

“Literally hundreds of dedicated physicians, nurses, support and information technology staff are working to successfully implement the project,” Stagno says. “The quality, safety and continuity of patient care all will be enhanced by having patient-health information in one system and accessible to providers across the organization.”

“IMPACT will enable us to move into a new era of improved organizational communication,” says Towana Pardue, chief nursing officer in The Kirklin Clinic. “Providers will have patient information at their finger tips. Data extraction will be easier, opportunities for cost savings will be more easily identified, and we will be better prepared to comply with upcoming regulatory requirements.”

The data-capture and reporting capabilities will facilitate research and help achieve target health and efficiency goals, such as reducing errors, electronic ordering and e-prescribing, by linking physicians to clinical staff to administrative support in one record.

“The system also will help improve our compliance with the myriad health-care regulations we are subject to as an organization,” says Brian Bates, officer of corporate compliance for the UAB Health Systems Foundation.

Ray Watts, M.D., dean of the School of Medicine, says the timely and pivotal undertaking will have a significant, positive effect throughout the hospital.

“To have patient information in one system and available to our providers will empower everyone engaged in patient care in a way we have not previously experienced,” Watts says. “It will support better communication across the organization, ensure continuity of care and help us be more efficient. I recognize the level of individual and organizational commitment required to implement the system, and I applaud everyone’s efforts.”

Learn more about IMPACT, including implementation dates, training sessions and more at impactehr.hs.uab.edu.

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