ED Information Systems: Kentucky & Indiana Hospitals (Kentucky)

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Summary:

One way to improve patient safety and quality of care and contain costs is to track and document ED patient treatment in a complete electronic medical record that ensures comprehensive patient evaluation and continuity of care. The objective was to implement and formally evaluate a contemporary, Web-browser-based electronic record system called the Ibex PulseCheck(r) emergency department information system at three small, county-owned, community hospitals in Indiana and Kentucky. The specific aims were to: 1) implement the Ibex ED information systems and train users at four hospitals and three physician groups during three years; 2) evaluate the reduction in medical errors (improper discharges) and waiting time in the EDs; 3) evaluate the reduction in costs through improved diagnostic coding and billing and fewer repeat tests; and 4) evaluate patient and physician satisfaction. Implementation and data gathering were sequential to ensure a large sample size before (with paper records) and after (paperless records) Ibex implementation. The Ibex system was successfully implemented at two of the three hospitals and partially implemented at the third hospital. There were both direct and indirect cost benefits, and patient benefits to the implementation of the system.

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