Patient becomes a More Active Member in their Health Care
The medical records of patients from Community Health Network (CHN) and Wild Rose Community Memorial Hospital will now be accessible electronically to medical providers at ThedaCare, following an electronic health records expansion after the three Northeast health systems affiliated.
The electronic medical records effectively and efficiently connect healthcare facilities and providers which allows a continuation of care for patients, said Beth Malchetske, director of business integration for ThedaCare. As part of the transition, additional information for thousands of patients was loaded into the system.
“Patients, whether they receive care locally in their community or travel to another ThedaCare location, will have their information travel seamlessly, securely, and with assurance the staff and providers caring for them will have a complete picture about them,” Malchetske said. “Epic has many components that support best practices in medicine alerts, preventive care alerts, and a patient portal to communicate directly with your primary care providers. The patient becomes a more active member in their care.”
Chad Voskuil, MD, a family physician with Wild Rose Community Memorial Hospital, said electronic medical records allow for better coordination among medical providers. For example, if he sees a patient in Wild Rose, but that patient is referred to a specialist at Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah, both providers are able to view the same files, including test results, and the best possible care can be given.
“If I order an x-ray or a test and then my patient sees a specialist elsewhere, the doctor can just look at those results and not duplicate what was already done,” Dr. Voskuil said. “If that other doctor prescribes a medication, I will see it when I call up that patient’s record and I can then make sure there isn’t anything I’m doing that would counteract it. It all results in giving better care to the patient.”
In addition, patients are encouraged to sign up for MyThedaCare, a secure electronic health portal. Patients can access their medical records and interact with their healthcare team online; request appointments; ask questions to our care team; view lab and other test results; request prescription renewals; and view and pay bills online.
P. Michael Shattuck, MD, a family physician with Community Health Network, said electronic medical record systems have been proven to enhance medical care and cuts down on costs.
“Electronic medical records significantly improve the delivery of health care. A medical record that is stored in an electronic data base can be accessed at any time of the day or night and would require only a computer that has access to the internet,” Dr. Shattuck said. “Who knows where technology will take us in the future? I am hopeful that the goals of the EMR can be achieved without losing the aspect of the personal relationship that patients can have with their provider.”
All healthcare systems using Epic medical record systems can easily access each other’s records once patients give their approval. In addition to ThedaCare, hundreds of other healthcare systems nationally use Epic, including Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin, Gundersen Health System, Aspirus System, Bellin Health, and the University of Wisconsin clinics and hospitals.
Epic is a Verona, Wis.-based company that builds electronic medical record systems. All ThedaCare facilities use Epic and Care Everywhere connecting Epic records at different locations. There are security measures built in the system and entry is made in a patient’s record if another health system requests his or her records.
ThedaCare™ is a community health system consisting of seven hospitals: Appleton Medical Center, Theda Clark Medical Center, ThedaCare Medical Center-New London, Shawano Medical Center, and Riverside Medical Center in Waupaca. Community Health Network, which includes Community Memorial Hospital in Berlin, and Wild Rose Memorial Hospital are in the process of affiliating with ThedaCare. ThedaCare also includes ThedaCare Physicians, ThedaCare Behavioral Health, and ThedaCare At Home. ThedaCare is one of the largest employers in Northeast Wisconsin with more than 6,175 employees. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.