In order to install an electronic medical records system that will allow it to communicate critical patient data with other hospitals and medical institutions faster and with greater accuracy, Children’s Medical Center is embarking on a multi-year, multi-million dollar project. Katherine Lusk, director of health information management at Children’s Medical Center, explained that in stressful times there is a tendency of the patients to forget the names of the doses and medicines and with electronic medical records (EMR) the data is recorded once, allowing multiple users to see it many times, which allows times and safer management. Over a five-year span, Children’s Medical Center will invest $60 million in updating its paper-based medical records and converting them into electronic-based medical records through Epic System Corp., an electronic medical record software developer for mid-size and large medical groups, hospitals and integrated health care organizations.

A 17-point criteria to determine exactly what the specialty hospital wanted to gain from implementing electronic medical records was reviewed for 18 months. A unique aspect of Children’s is its involvement in a campus collaborative that includes UT Southwestern Medical Center, Zale Lipshy University Hospital and St. Paul University Hospital, which all have converted to Epic’s electronic medical software. Epic offers Care Everywhere, a software package that allows communication with other Epic customers. Care Elsewhere, which is an addition to Care Everywhere, allows clients to communicate with institutions that use other brands of electronic medical record software.

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