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Patient Safety Initiatives

To continue making hospital visits as safe and efficient as possible, Southwest General embarked on a leading-edge technology journey more than five years ago. A predominant part of our new technology at the hospital has been the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) initiative and its component parts. The EMR system, implemented in 2009, creates a computerized record of all patient care information—from physician orders to medication dispensed to surgeries performed.

Southwest General’s commitment to advanced technology that enhances patient safety recently placed the hospital among the top in the nation for EMR adoption, with a goal of improving patient quality, safety and continuity of care.

Over the past few years, Southwest General has introduced many state-of-the-art technologies that help support our commitment to patient safety. These include:

  • Smart Intravenous (IV) Pumps: Computer software in the pumps regulates proper dosages of medication, while improving safety of administration of IV drug therapy.
  • Barcode Medication Administration: Ensures the right patient receives the right medication at the right time.
  • Medication Dispensing Stations: Ensures accurate medication dispensing through alerts to the nurse, which provide an added safety precaution for high-risk medications.
  • Computerized Physician Order Entry: Provides physicians the means to electronically enter instructions for treatment of patients—ultimately, decreasing delays in order completion and reducing human errors related to handwriting or transcription.
  • Online Physician Documentation: Doctors can now document information about your care online, which allows other clinicians to access vital patient information from any location immediately.
  • Physician Documentation with Voice Recognition: Allows physicians to dictate right into the system, with information being instantly available to all clinicians.
  • Enterprise Scheduling: Centralizes scheduling for all areas of the hospital.
  • Document Imaging: Allows clinicians to scan documents into the patient’s record, such as your Advance Directives or Driver’s license.
  • Interdisciplinary Care Plans: An online tool that allows all caregivers to document the patient’s care plan based on each patient's needs. This includes all areas, such as nursing, therapy and pharmacy, to name a few.
  • Quality Measure Dashboards: Clinicians and the quality department have screens displaying whether or not patients have received key treatments important to improving the outcome of their care.
  • Electronic Prescribing: Allows clinicians the ability to send accurate and understandable prescriptions electronically from the health care provider to the patient’s pharmacy.
  • Electronic Medication Reconciliation: Pulls in home medication information from community pharmacies for physician review so that an accurate, up-to-date medication list can be documented. When the physician reconciles home medications, they convert to inpatient orders.
  • Biomed Device Integration: Sends information from patient care devices, such as heart monitors, to the patient’s EMR, eliminating the possibility of data entry or legibility errors. Also, it improves the speed that the information is available to physicians and other caregivers.
  • Nursing Documentation: Provides nurses the means to electronically document their patient assessment and care plan in a reliable, accurate and easily understood way, for all clinicians.
  • Cardiology Imaging: When performing cardiac tests and procedures, images are sent directly to the cardiology imaging system, making that information available for physicians immediately.
  • Picture Archiving Communications (PACS): Southwest General has moved to storing all radiology images to Cerner PACS systems with a fully integrated dictation system (PowerScribe) providing medical images and fast turnaround for final reports to physicians via the EMR from inside the hospital or remotely using a Physician Portal.
  • Health Information Exchange (HIE): Southwest General sends patient results and visit information to the state of Ohio HIE, which allows physicians to integrate this information into their office records and ensures that your patient information is available wherever, and whenever, you need to receive care.