Yuma Regional Medical Center prepares to implement new EMR system next year

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Yuma Regional Medical Center (YRMC), a major hospital in the city of Yuma, Arizona, is on track to implement a new electronic medical records (EMR) system early next year, reports the Yuma Sun.

The hospital is reportedly spending $70 million on its EMR system, which will be ready to go live around May 1 of next year, said YRMC vice president of communications and marketing Machele Headington.

Pat Walz, the chief executive officer of the healthcare facility, told the news source that the hospital’s new health informatics tools would greatly improve its standards of patient care. Currently, the hospital uses paper records that Walz likened to a game of telephone, with mistakes being passed from doctor to doctor. Confusion about handwriting or missing records is “risky” for the safety of those at the hospital, he said.

With the new EMR system, however, physicians at YRMC can access important information on any patient quickly and effectively, without having to worry about any problems stemming from miscommunication with other doctors.

“They’ve got a wealth of information, rather than relying on the patient who has got belly pain,” Walz told the news source.

“When information is in paper form, number one, it really makes it difficult to coordinate care; and when you get information into electronic form, it’s much easier to access, it’s much easier to ensure that necessary tests are being done, that you’re aware of potential medical errors and can prevent them from happening,” said Melissa Rutena, the chief executive officer of Arizona Health-e Connections, a company that helps local hospitals put EMR and health informatics infrastructure in place.

According to its website, YRMC is a 333-bed facility with specialized units for women and children, neonatal care, heart health, cancer treatment, cardiopulmonary care, outpatient surgery, diabetes education, wound care, sleep research and bariatric weight loss surgery.