University of Maryland Rehabilitation & Orthopaedic Institute
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Cynthia Kelleher (Kernan)
Phone: 410-448-6447

Kernan Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation Hospital Launches Electronic Medical Records System

Baltimore, MD (May 1, 2009) - Kernan Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation Hospital will enhance the way in which it delivers health care when it becomes the first hospital in the University of Maryland Medical System to use Portfolio, a state-of-the-art, totally electronic medical records system for all inpatients beginning May 30, 2009.

"Portfolio takes patient care to a whole new level. It will benefit our patients by making comprehensive information, such as test results, medication orders and progress notes, easily and immediately accessible to the doctors and nurses who are caring for them," said Michael Jablonover, MD, MBA, FACP, Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer at Kernan. "We will be able to view, track and input patient data in more sophisticated ways than with a paper chart."

An electronic medical record is a computerized version of a patient's paper medical record. It delivers a more complete picture of a patient's medical history, allowing the health care provider to make the best recommendations about a patient's medical care. It also includes the patient's health insurance information. Research has shown that electronic patient records enhance patient safety and lead to more timely treatment by shortening the waiting time for test results and reducing the chance of medication errors. They also make it easier for patients to schedule and register for appointments, fill prescriptions and have access to their medical records. The system also helps to ensure accurate billing after care is provided.

Using Epic software, Kernan Hospital's electronic medical records system allows physicians and other authorized staff to view patient records right at their bedside. The patient data is used just like a paper chart to track treatment and help each shift of caregivers stay current on each patient's needs and status. The secure system tracks data like X-rays, medication history, physician notes, treatment history, and previous surgeries. All data are immediately accessible as soon as updates are added.

"Kernan was chosen to be the first inpatient facility within the University of Maryland Medical System to implement this electronic medical record," said Valerie Summerlin, RN, MS, NEA-BC, Vice President Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer at Kernan. "Being first put us in a position to create opportunities for many of our staff to get involved and influence our work flow process in order to enhance patient care and staff satisfaction."

Kernan Hospital is a member of the University of Maryland Medical System, a nine-hospital system that includes Baltimore Washington Medical Center, Maryland General Hospital, Shore Health System, Chester River Health System, Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital, University Specialty Hospital and the University of Maryland Medical Center.