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Three Vidant Health hospitals join electronic health record network

July 30, 2012 by Beth Anne Atkins

Three Vidant Health hospitals join electronic health record network 

GREENVILLE, NC — On July 28, three Vidant Health hospitals “flipped the switch” to go live with Vidant’s electronic health record (EHR). Vidant Beaufort Hospital, Vidant Duplin Hospital and Vidant Pungo Hospital are now connected to the Vidant EHR, a system that was first implemented in 2007, and is intended to provide a single, seamless record for all patients within Vidant Health. 

The addition of these three hospitals means that nine of Vidant Health’s ten hospitals are connected to the EHR, including Vidant Beaufort Hospital, Vidant Bertie Hospital, Vidant Chowan Hospital, Vidant Duplin Hospital, Vidant Edgecombe Hospital, The Outer Banks Hospital, Vidant Medical Center, Vidant Pungo Hospital and Vidant Roanoke-Chowan Hospital. In addition, fifty-six Vidant Medical Group physician practices, several departments within ECU Physicians’ Brody School of Medicine and Our Children’s Clinic (a private pediatric practice in Winterville, NC) are also connected to the Vidant EHR. 

“Vidant Health has made a significant commitment to connecting our hospitals, physicians and providers across the region through our EHR,” said Stuart James, chief information officer at Vidant Health. “Connecting our two newest hospitals, Vidant Beaufort and Vidant Pungo, in less than a year, is evidence of our commitment to invest in the health care infrastructure of Beaufort County.” 

As a result of the EHR implementation, physicians and other clinical staff will have convenient, timely access to appropriate information through one secure system. By extending its EHR to non-Vidant entities and providing portals for other providers to access information, the system has the potential to fully connect health providers in eastern North Carolina into one computer-based system of medical records and represents Vidant Health’s commitment to keep clinical care connected across its 29 county service area. 

“I have been looking forward to the implementation of the electronic health record at Vidant Beaufort Hospital. Prior to coming here, I utilized the Vidant EHR system, and it made an enormous difference in amount of time saved treating my patients,” said Dr. Paul Garcia, assistant chief-of-staff, Vidant Beaufort Hospital. “Most importantly, it reduced replication of services, decreased medication errors and made reading a physician’s hand-writing easier.” 

Today, the Vidant EHR contains almost 1.5 million patient records. In addition to the Vidant Health team, more than 2,500 non-Vidant Health providers access the system through a provider portal and almost 1,000 patients have secure access to their records through a patient portal. 

Having complete medical information available electronically will give physicians and assistants more time with patients, instead of searching through paper records. An electronic system also allows rural physicians and health clinics to quickly access patient information for consultations with specialists. 

“One of our major goals is to ensure that the information always moves faster than the patient does,” Stuart said. “Vidant EHR captures a patient’s medical history into a single record that can be viewed at any time by any provider who is involved in your care. This means that, if a patient is being transferred from Vidant Duplin to Vidant Medical Center, doctors and specialists can begin reviewing critical information before the patient arrives and begin taking action as soon as the patient comes through the door.” 

The capital investment for implementing EHR at Vidant Beaufort, Vidant Duplin and Vidant Pungo hospitals was approximately $12 million. 
 
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