Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City will power up a new, computerized medical information system this weekend. Scott Wells is vice president of patient care services. He says one problem with having a patient’s medical records on paper is that there’s only one copy in the hospital. He says you often have doctors, nurses and other hospital workers who need to look at the record, to write down their condition, review lab tests and x-rays, and with only one it can be cumbersome. On-line, any number of providers can access a patient’s medical record at the same time. Wells explains this is part of a 300-million-dollar upgrade across Mercy’s healthcare system. He says it’s changing the way hospitals have operated for years. He says it touches about 90-percent of the people who work at the hospital and that’s why they worked on the change for a long time and didn’t just do it overnight. Wells says the new computerized record, called “Project Genesis,” should decrease the likelihood of errors in patient care. Doctors will enter orders for procedures or drugs on a form in the computer. Medication orders will go directly to the pharmacy, and the drugs will be sent from there right to the hospital floor, to be administered by the nurse. If there’s an order for care, like respiratory therapy, it goes to that department. And if there’s a nursing task ordered like changing a dressing, it’s sent directly to the in-box for the nurse. Wells says it puts Mercy ahead of expected federal mandates to computerize all medical records.
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