Kaiser Permanente of Georgia is in the process of converting its 12 medical centers to an electronic medical record system over the next seven months, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reports.
The conversion began in June at the TownPark Medical Center and was followed by the Southwood Medical Center in July. The plan is first to convert adult primary care, pediatrics and OB/GYN patients to the HealthConnect EMR system and then, in the first quarter of 2006, convert specialties such as general surgery and gastroenterology to the system.
The new electronic system will allow physicians to document patient information in the examining rooms, order medications from the medical center's internal pharmacies, place orders to labs and radiology departments, and review lab and radiology results. The system also will issue warnings to physicians about possible drug interactions and patient allergies, and it will send reminders about routine screenings, the Atlanta Business Journal reports.
The new EMR system took over a year of planning and will require several months to train health care professionals. The Atlanta Business Journal notes that Kaiser Permanente plans to launch an online system that will provide patients access to their medical records and test results by the middle of 2006 (Moriarty, Atlanta Business Journal, 7/22).