On October 30, 2015, Sonoma West Medical Center in Sebastopol, California opened with HarmoniMD™ software in use in all departments. Sonoma West Medical Center (SWMC) is a revival of Palm Drive Hospital which closed in April of 2014.
The newly-opened hospital required an Electronic Health Records (EHR) system to “go live” in every department simultaneously in order to avoid a repeat of the former hospital’s failure to convert from paper to digital medical records.
The implementation of an EHR in any hospital is a major challenge. With a mission-critical EHR application needing to be fully functional on day one, the environment became very tense as opening day came closer but the eHRI team worked weekends and nights to be ready; when the first patient arrived, they were registered into the system, had a patient card printed, a wristband applied and were sent to the Radiology Department for studies.
After months of constant use, we can say unequivocally that HarmoniMD has performed well and has seen only a few minutes of down time, none at all in recent months. While the hospital’s internal network has created havoc on a few occasions, we have not experienced significant interruptions in access to our servers or databases. Enhancements are continually under way with Electronic Clinical Documents (ECDs) as department-specific order sets are created. The underlying HarmoniMD system has proven itself to be reliable and robust.
In collaboration with nurses and physicians at SWMC, HarmoniMD has matured and hospital operations have become smoother.
Each patient receives a hospital ID card that holds a link to the patient record.
This card is readable at every workstation and by every tablet in the hospital. When patients return to the hospital, they can simply present their card and the admitting staff can access the patient chart immediately by holding the card in front of a web camera.
This card is also readable with a cell phone, which will connect to the patient’s medical chart. This will give patients access to their patient information from anywhere in the world with the security of dual identity verification by checking for the patient’s cell phone and scanned patient card before providing access to patient information. With cell phones now providing banking, video conferencing, email and many other functions, access to patient health information is a natural progression that will be welcomed by patients and doctors alike.
As SWMC staff have acclimated to using tablets in the clinical environment and Electronic Clinical Documents have been developed to support workflow, documentation time has often been dramatically reduced. One of the physical therapists recently commented that her documentation time has gone from three hours a day down to one.
While there are more opportunities to expand the workflow of the HarmoniMD system at Sonoma West Medical Center, the implementation is likely one of the easiest and most complete for any hospital in such a short period of time.