Whidbey General Hospital will join hundreds of healthcare organizations around the country May 1 when it starts converting to a computerized Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system.
EMR will provide one comprehensive medical record, accessible to all providers, with the goal of making patient care safer, more effective and better quality.
The idea is that when all providers can access the same information it lessens the likelihood of repetitive procedures and medication errors.
Patients may also benefit from quicker service and less paperwork.
The transition is not simply automating an existing record-keeping system.
EMR aims to improve virtually every aspect of healthcare, from scheduling an appointment to filling a prescription to going home after surgery.
Moving from paper-based medical records, spread around in many different locations, to one comprehensive electronic record, is not a one-time event.
Rather, it is an unfolding process that will occur at Whidbey General and affiliated clinics between now and the end of the year.
The hospital has been preparing for this transition, but staff do expect some delays during the process.
They advice patients who have appointments at the hospital in May, please plan on spending 15-30 minutes longer than usual.
For more information go to www.whidbeygen.org