Tags: technology , redesigning care

Carole Dowd and team at Newton Wellesley

Over the weekend, we continued the rollout of a new integrated electronic records management system that represents one of the most important investments in quality and safety that we have ever made. With Partners eCare, patients have a single record containing all of their clinical and billing information – and it will follow them around the Partners system, wherever they’re receiving care.

The scale and scope of the project mark a major milestone in clinical care. This weekend’s launch at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), BWH Faulkner Hospital and its clinical partner Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Partners HealthCare at Home build on smaller events to integrate administrative systems at Newton-Wellesley and Massachusetts General Hospitals. By 2017, we’ll roll out the complete array of clinical and administrative applications system across all 10 hospitals and 6,000 doctors at Partners.

“At the core of all of this is patient safety,” Dr. Ron M. Walls, chief operating officer at BWH, told The Boston Globe.

The project is the most significant effort to improve patients’ safety and the quality of their care that we’ve ever undertaken at Partners, and we’re invested in it in every sense of the word. We’ve spent three years in preparation and training, and for the launch weekend, we had more than 1,500 additional staff on hand to assist.

While launching the system has required hundreds of specialized staff, using the system will make all of our staff more effective by streamlining the way both clinical and billing information are shared to reduce the likelihood of errors. Partners eCare, which is run on software built by Epic Systems Corp., has also allowed Parters to enhance Partners Patient Gateway, providing new ways for patients to access their own records and communicate with their health care providers.

Carole Dowd, a practice manager for women’s health at NWH (pictured above), was one of our earliest adopters to use the system for scheduling and revenue management, and it has already aided her duties during patient registration. “Our mission is to treat all our patients as if they were our own family members,” she said, “and now we can do that because we’re able to spend more time talking to patients.”