Revenue Cycle

Hospital uses EMR to improve handoff process and create electronic ’hall pass’

Patient Access Weekly Advisor, June 3, 2009

In late 2007, staff members at Abington (PA) Memorial Hospital (AMH) knew their handoff process could use some work.

Their process, like that of many other hospitals, used a paper form to communicate important patient information from one provider to the next. However, the form would often be filled out improperly, labels would be missing, and ultimately, the receiver might not be aware of everything he or she needed to know about a patient, putting the patient at risk for an error in care.

The hospital also needed to stay in compliance with the National Patient Safety Goal concerning handoff communication, currently NPSG.02.05.01. Additionally, nurses often had to double-document information on the handoffs that had already been captured in the electronic medical record.

AMH had implemented computer physician order entry and clinical documentation by September 2007 and decided to utilize the EMR to enhance its handoff process. At the time, the hospital also used another system that pulled information from the EMR to provide patients with a daily care report.

Read the full story by Heather Comak of HealthLeaders Media.

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