Using FileMaker Pro as its basis, the Cardiac Automated Retrieval and Entry system — or CARE® — was the first remote–access electronic medical record system on the MCO campus, but it was quickly joined by others. 'The success of the clinic system spurred the development of several more databases that assist the Cardiologists' in managing their inpatient practice,' says Pam, 'including three inpatient services: acute and critical coronary care, consult, and congestive heart failure (CHF) / transplant. Another clinic system was developed to assist in the management of patients who are receiving anti–coagulation therapy, a service which the cardiologists' provide for all patients at MCO. Two years later development of a system to generate reports of diagnostic testing done in the Heart Station was undertaken. All of these databases are interconnected and provide multiple levels of service from registration of patients to automated faxing of results to physicians, clinics and inpatient floors.'
This system has eliminated the need for the transcriptionists and technical/clinical staff to manually fax study results and other clinical information to those requesting the information.
Today there are over 170,000 records contained in the network of CARE® databases, tracking every aspect of every patient's treatment — from office visits to long–term hospital stays, from registration to discharge. At a keystroke, medical staff can call up every vital detail in a patient's file. It's a system designed for the way doctors work — adaptable, efficient, and thorough. 'CARE® was designed to meet the medical records standards at the time of implementation,' says Pam, 'and has proven flexible enough to withstand modifications in the ensuing years to meet the changing Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) Standards'
One area in which the CARE® system has made a real difference is in allowing for the automated faxing of information to referring physicians, clinics, hospital units, and medical record departments. 'This system has eliminated the need for the transcriptionists and technical/clinical staff to manually fax study results and other clinical information to those requesting the information,' Pam points out. 'The overall outcome has been increased customer satisfaction and care coordination.' On average, the system handles 546 faxes per 5 day week — or 14 per hour per 8 hour day, with employees having to devote an average of eight seconds to each fax. Doing it manually required over two minutes per fax, for a dramatic savings in both time and effort.