Allina Hospitals & Clinics Launches One Of The Nation's Largest Electronic Medical Record Implementations

MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Allina Hospitals & Clinics is launching one of the nation's largest electronic medical record implementations this week at Buffalo Hospital. As part of an ongoing mission to improve the quality and safety of patient care, Buffalo Hospital is the first Allina hospital to transition away from paper processes and begin using an electronic medical record system that will ultimately be shared by all of Allina's seventy-six sites, including 11 hospitals and sixty-five clinics. Four Allina Medical Clinic sites in Annandale, Buffalo, Cokato and Litchfield transitioned earlier this month.

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"Transitioning to an electronic medical record system is a top priority for Allina because it provides our doctors and employees with the necessary tools to enhance the quality and safety of the medical care we deliver to patients," says Dick Pettingill, President and CEO of Allina Hospitals & Clinics.

The number of sites and the sharing of patient records among those sites make this implementation one of the largest, most integrated electronic medical record systems in the country. When the implementation is completed in the next four years, all of Allina's clinics and hospitals will document a patient's care in one shared electronic medical record, which provides a more complete picture of a patient's medical history at Allina. This translates into less hassle for patients in transferring their medical information from one Allina caregiver to another and/or repeating the same information multiple times. Doctors and caregivers will be able to reference all of a patient's vital statistics, test results, medications, allergies and prior health conditions -- regardless of where the information was collected within the Allina system.

"Understanding the full scope of a patient's current and past care helps doctors make the best recommendation for a condition or illness," says Andrew Burgdorf, a family physician at Allina Medical Clinic - Buffalo and at Buffalo Hospital. "Often times, patients don't remember or can't provide details of the care they have received. With one patient record, Allina caregivers are able to view information about a patient's treatment at Allina, confer with each other on patient care, and review a history of test and lab results."

Allina's electronic medical record system will help provide patients with greater peace of mind knowing their caregivers have the information they need:

   -- Timely access to medical information.  A patient's complete medical
      history can be viewed with a few clicks of the computer mouse by
      doctors and caregivers with security privileges, providing immediate,
      easy access to patient information.

   -- One source of patient information. If a patient has been treated at
      the hospital and is at the clinic for a follow-up visit, documentation
      from their hospital stay is easily available to doctors and caregivers
      because the information is in a single, shared electronic medical
      record.

   -- Immediate safety checks. As an added safety feature, the system
      automatically cross-checks a patient's allergies and current
      medications with any new prescriptions being considered by the doctor
      or caregiver. The physician will be alerted immediately if there is a
      potential drug or allergy interaction and is able to order a different
      medication without delay.

   -- Providing information once. Because patients have one medical record
      that is shared among their caregivers, they only need to provide their
      contact and insurance information, as well as details of their medical
      history once -- including allergies, medications and prior health
      conditions. After that, patients merely verify the information is
      up-to-date.

   -- Quicker access to test results. Now, a caregiver is notified by e-mail
      when test results have been added to a patient's electronic medical
      record. There is no waiting for test results to travel from the lab to
      the caregiver's office or from one caregiver to another. Having one
      record that is shared among caregivers and locations makes it easier
      to review a history of test results.


Allina has a long history of investing in and implementing new technology to improve patient care. Research on implementing an electronic medical record began in the mid-1990s and programming and development began in 2003. The end- result is a record that more than satisfies a major Department of Health and Human Services initiative announced by President Bush in July 2004, requiring medical providers to begin documenting patient care in an electronic format.

For more information about Allina's new electronic medical record system, contact Vince Rivard at 763.236.3777 (office); 763.654.8769 (pager) or at Vince.Rivard@Allina.com .

Allina Hospitals & Clinics is a non-profit network of hospitals, clinics and other health care services, providing care throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Allina owns and operates 11 hospitals, 42 clinics, hospice services, pharmacies, and emergency medical transportation services. Allina Hospitals & Clinics can be found online at http://www.allina.com/ and the latest health information is at http://www.medformation.com/ .

Photo: NewsCom: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000407/ALLINAHCLOGOAP Archive: http://photoarchive.ap.org/PRN Photo Desk, +1-888-776-6555 or +1-212-782-2840 Allina Hospitals & Clinics

CONTACT: Vince Rivard of Allina Hospitals & Clinics, office,+1-763-236-3777, or pager, +1-763-654-8769, or Vince.Rivard@Allina.com ; orSonja Carlson of Buffalo Hospital, office, +1-763-684-6805, or pager,+1-612-654-1282, or Sonja.Carlson@Allina.com

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