St. Luke's turns to new software to store medical records - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

St. Luke's turns to new software to store medical records

St. Luke's now uses a program called Epic to handle medical records. St. Luke's now uses a program called Epic to handle medical records.

As technology changes, so does the way your medical records are handled.  More clinics and hospitals are going to online versions of your records versus the old paper ones.

If you're a patient at St. Luke's in Sioux City, each room now comes equipped with a computer.
It's not for surfing the web.  It's for nurses and doctors to enter or retrieve your medical records.

"Everything used to be written on pieces of paper and then you had to keep those files for years and years and now the information is on our servers and it's backed up so we have that readily available in a matter of minutes versus what could take hours to go through files," says Priscilla Stokes, Vice President of Patient Care with St. Luke's.

The system is called Epic and it's safer, faster, and more secure.  It's safer because there are steps to make sure the patient gets the right medication by scanning a bar code on the patient's wrist ID.  There's also less of a chance to enter wrong information.

"With physicians entering their own orders, there aren't any errors made in communication between the physician and the nurse and possibly the secretary," says Stokes.

It's faster because doctors and other caregivers have immediate access to a patient's information within St. Luke's.

"We are able to enter information and the physicians and other caregivers can view that information immediately," says Stokes.

And it's more secure because users need passwords, codes, and a special tab on their badge to access the information.

"The online world is more safer than paper chart as far as the computer systems just because there is audit trail where in the paper world anybody can come in and look at the chart," says Bobbi Pietz, a registered nurse at St. Luke's.

St. Luke's has been using the Epic system for about six weeks now.  The system also allows patients to access some of their important medical information online, like their medications and care instructions.



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