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Texas Health Hurst-Euless-Bedford Implements Electronic Health Record
11/19/2009

BEDFORD, Texas — Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Hurst-Euless-Bedford recently implemented an electronic health record system throughout the hospital.

As legislators in Washington, D.C., continue to debate health care reform, one item that consistently ranks among the ideal solutions to improving health care is the implementation of electronic record systems. Texas Health HEB is the 12th hospital in the Texas Health Resources system to implement the system.

By 2012, all 14 hospitals will be using electronic health record and will have the capability to share information across the health system.

The computer-based system collects, organizes, shares and manages clinical and administrative information, and is used by physicians on the medical staff, nurses and caregivers throughout the hospital.

“The electronic health record gives everyone who is caring for that patient better access to the patient’s chart in a secure manner,” said Dr. Bob Rowland, chief medical information officer at Texas Health HEB. “It enables clinicians to have immediate access to reports required to treat their patient as they come in rather than waiting for a fax. The system also protects the security of patient information, which can be viewed by designated caregivers with direct responsibility for that patient.”

Texas Health HEB is the first large hospital in the system to “go live” with all elements of the system at once. Less than two weeks after being implemented, nearly 85 percent of medication orders were being entered electronically.

“During the preparation stages and throughout implementation Texas Health HEB leaders did a great job of bringing all the elements of the system together at once,” said Dr. Ferdinand Velasco, chief medical information officer of Texas Health Resources. “Undertaking a project of this magnitude is never easy, but the groundwork that Texas Health HEB laid early has paid off with a very successful launch.”

The switch to electronic health records is designed to improve care in many ways, including reducing medical errors and increasing efficiency. Once recorded, a patient’s information — such as medical history, prescribed medications or lab results — is quickly and securely accessible to help guide designated users in making treatment decisions.

In the months leading to Texas Health HEB’s implementation of the electronic health record, employees throughout the hospital and physicians on the medical staff logged thousands of hours training on the new system to ensure a smooth transition once implementation started.

“We could not have had such a successful implementation without the hard work and commitment from our employees and physicians on the medical staff,” said Kurt Crawford, who led the implementation of the electronic health record at Texas Health HEB.

In 2004, the Bush administration announced the creation of the National Health Information Technology Office to oversee the development of a nationwide health IT infrastructure and challenged each U.S. hospital to develop and fully implement the electronic health record within a decade.

A growing number of healthcare institutions have identified IT as one of the most powerful tools for reducing medical errors and improving the quality of healthcare including the Institute of Medicine, National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics and the Department of Health and Human Services.

For Texas Health HEB, the move to the electronic health record is another step in continually looking for ways to help patients. The transition to electronic health records was a fairly smooth process, said Deborah Paganelli, FACHE, hospital president.

“Our ultimate goal is to provide the best possible care to our patients and their families,” she said. “The electronic health record will enable us to improve the quality of our care.”

About Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Hurst-Euless-Bedford
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Hurst-Euless-Bedford is a 284-bed, acute-care facility serving Northeast Tarrant County since 1973. The hospital’s services include outpatient surgery, women’s services, a Level III neonatal intensive care unit, a dedicated oncology care unit, cardiac rehabilitation and psychiatric and addiction treatment. Texas Health HEB is an affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org/HEB.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. Texas Health’s system of 14 hospitals includes Texas Health Harris Methodist, Texas Health Arlington Memorial, and Texas Health Presbyterian, and an organization for medical research and education. Texas Health Organization for Physicians and Texas Health Physicians Group provide a variety of models for engagement with physicians. Texas Health Partners is a joint venture development and management company owned by Texas Health Resources. Texas Health MedSynergies is a joint venture that offers physicians a range of office management and other business services to support their practices. Texas Health is a corporate member or partner in six additional hospitals and surgery centers. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org.

Doctors on the medical staff practice independently and are not employees or agents of the hospital.

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