Alegent Health Clinic, Council Bluffs, First to Pilot Paperless Charting
Release Date: 02/09/2007

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Electronic Medical Record Program is Implemented in Clinics to Improve Quality, Save Time and Cut Costs.

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa—Alegent Health Clinic is beginning a two-year journey that brings patient-centered care into the digital age with the implementation of an electronic medical records (EMR) system at the clinic located at 715 Harmony Street. Once online, the NextGen® EMR program will virtually eliminate the need for paper medical charts, ultimately improving quality, patient safety and work flow efficiency by allowing for movement toward seamless data exchange between providers and practices.

"The EMR project team couldn't be more pleased with our clinic located Harmony Street as the pilot site. The providers see a wide variety of patient visits – OB, pediatrics, geriatrics, and minor procedures – the group includes some of our busiest physicians, and the office and clinical staff are very willing and able to work through the EMR implementation," said Mark Oberlies, M.D., Alegent Health Clinic Medical Director of Informatics.

Electronic medical records are the digital equivalent to traditional paper-based medical record that can help physicians ensure patients get the recommended care for chronic illnesses, such as diabetes or asthma. EMRs will streamline processes to make it easier for the doctor and patient to assess the effectiveness of certain treatments, help reduce costs by eliminating staff time needed to handle paper-based records and reduce duplicate/redundant tests. Most importantly, adoption of the EMR system provides higher quality patient care and safety.

Alegent Health Clinic has chosen to partner with NextGen® Healthcare Information Systems for an electronic medical record that has passed a comprehensive inspection with 100 percent accuracy. This inspection included criteria sets for functionality, interoperability and security.

“Our group is excited to go first with this new technology, and all providers and staff are committed to the success of the EMR pilot,” said Mark Otto, M.D., Alegent Health Clinic family physician and EMR project physician champion for the Council Bluffs division.

Once the Harmony Street location is up and running, rollout of the EMR product will occur across Alegent Health Clinic’s 44 locations and is scheduled to be completed by mid-2009. The ultimate goal is to have full integration of NextGen® EMR with Alegent Health’s inpatient/hospital EMR system called Soarian, which will ultimately result in increased efficiencies, reduction of duplicate tests and, most importantly, help advance the quality of care we deliver throughout the entire system.