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Electronic Health Records

Optimizing release-of- information processes

While Underwood-Memorial Hospital was already working with a provider that was meeting most of its medical records needs, a key element was missing.

By Bonnie Zahn, RHIA, CHP F

or almost a hundred years, Underwood-Memorial has been keeping track of patient records, and while the basic intent of this record keeping has remained consistent, the volume of records, the speed with which records need to be accessed and the legislation governing the handling of these records have all changed dramatically. In particular, we have implemented the Cerner Millennium system to help us improve the quality and effi ciency of our delivery of care. This new electronic health record (EHR) system has given us the ability to combine operational and clinical information, while accessing relevant patient information.

Bonnie Zahn is director of health information management and privacy at Underwood-Memorial Hospital in Woodbury, N.J. For more information on MRO solutions: For more information on Cerner solutions:

Underwood-Memorial Hospital has been deliver- ing patient care since the early days of the 1900s. As a 305-licensed-bed, acute-care non-profi t community hospi- tal, Underwood-Memorial serves Gloucester County and parts of Salem and Cam- den counties in New Jersey, with more than 1,800 full-

and part-time employees and a medical/dental staff of almost 400. Our hospital provides a comprehensive array of diagnostic, therapeutic and rehabilitative services to the surrounding community and has more than 14,000 admissions annually, as well as 53,000 total patient visits to the emergency department.

Implementing relevant technology

One of the major lessons we’ve learned in the past is that having a bigger release-of-information software provider isn’t always better for our hospital, our patients or our staff. For much of the past 10 years, our release-of- information (ROI) needs were met by one of the largest ROI companies in the country. As this provider grew through a series of acquisitions, the company’s business lines, focus and personalized service became more and more diversifi ed.


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