Last year Pana Community Hospital was conducting the “Go Digital” campaign to raise money for the digital mammography machine which was installed in March of 2011. Now the hospital is once again working on a “Go Digital” project of a different kind. An information technology upgrade is now taking place at Pana Community Hospital and it is one of the largest projects the hospital has taken on in many years.
The hospital is converting from our former information technology system to a new system called “McKesson Paragon”. This new computer system will allow Pana Community Hospital to create and maintain all patient records electronically. The new system will also allow local physicians to access patient information via the computer as opposed to having to request the patient’s chart. Local physicians will be able to securely view patient records from their office and forward patient information securely to specialists and sub-specialists to whom they are referring the patient for follow-up or specialty care.
Pana Community Hospital will also be utilizing Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) which allows physicians to put orders into the computer instead of writing the orders on paper. This type of entry system can be done from within the hospital, from the doctor’s office, or from secure laptop computers the physicians carry with them. The orders entered via the computer are easier to read than hand written orders which reduces errors and improves the timeliness of patient care.
All hospitals are facing government mandates that require hospitals to become “Meaningful Users” of a certified health information system and an electronic or “digital” health record by 2014. Pana Community Hospital’s decision to proceed with the upgrade was reinforced when it was announced that funds were being made available to hospitals from the federal government to support the upgrade of health information systems. Hospital employees have been involved in preparing for the upcoming conversion for over a year now.
The hospital’s management team and Board of Directors have been preparing for this change for over two years. The McKesson Paragon Health Information System was selected after a 2-year review process. Hospital personnel are now being trained on the new system. The new system will “go live” in September of 2011.