Brookhaven hospital praises new ER computer system

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Officials at King’s Daughters Medical Center in Brookhaven say new computer technology installed earlier this year gives doctors and nurses access to electronic records, improving the workflow inside the hospital’s emergency room.

More than 50 hospitals in Mississippi have now installed the Emergency Department Information System designed by Dallas-based T-System Inc., according to a company spokesman.

King’s Daughter installed the system in April and hospital officials say it has reduced patients’ length of stay from 284 minutes to 138 minutes. The system also allows the hospital to eliminate white boards, clipboards and the notoriously illegible handwriting of doctors.

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Jennifer Jones, King’s Daughters’ emergency department case manager, said in a hospital news release that the new computer software can track a patient’s hospital stay from admission to release.

“Average wait times before evaluation, lab turnaround time, X-ray interpretations. Before we had no way to track these parameters,” Jones said.

ER doctors can also order lab tests, imaging and other diagnostics electronically from a patient’s bedside.

The new system includes mobile laptop computers on rolling stations that allow medical information to be recorded quickly from anywhere in the emergency department and small wireless tablet computers with touch screens.

The system also includes a 42-inch screen that allows physicians and nurses to quickly assess patients’ information.

Hospital officials say it allows the caregivers to spend less time with charts and clipboards and more time with patients.

“They can carry the tablet in one arm, check off the orders with the stylus and see the patient’s information right there,” said KDMC information systems manager Carl Smith. “It’s bedside computing.”