Somerset Medical Center announced it has become one of the first hospitals in the country to achieve the federal government’s standards for “meaningful use” of certified electronic health records.
The hospital earned the recognition through its participation in the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records Incentive Program, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which included an incentive program for hospitals to adopt technology for electronic medical and health records.
“Our investment in health information technology demonstrates our continued commitment to enhancing efficiency, reducing costs and advancing patient care,” said Ken Bateman, president and CEO of Somerset Medical Center. “In January, we pledged to achieve meaningful use of certified electronic health records by December 2011.”
Somerset Medical Center began the first stage of implementing electronic health records back in 2001. These records give medical personnel instant access to important information about a patient’s health, including medical history and medications, as well as results of X-rays, MRIs and EKGs. This helps doctors make a timely diagnosis so they can quickly begin treatment. Digital records also help ensure patient safety by reducing the duplication of medication and alerting health care professionals to potentially dangerous drug interactions and allergies.
The hospital will begin the next stage of meaningful use requirements in the spring, including enhancing emergency department documentation and implementing bar-coded medication administration to verify the right medication is given to a patient.