Kern Medical Center Goes Paperless

KMC Adopts New Electronic Record System

When you think of hospitals and doctors, you often think of paper charts and records. But that won't be the case anymore for Kern Medical Center.

Friday, KMC announced its implementation of a new electronic record keeping system. It may not seem like a big deal, but it's expected to make a world of a difference to the hospital staff and patients.

Currently, KMC processes about 400 charts per day. Each chart can contain up to hundreds of pages in medical records. But all that would be condensed into the electronic system and accessible at the click of a mouse. For patients, that would mean more accurate treatment because their records will be better organized. Treatment could be faster since electronic orders will process instantly rather than the current system, which can take three hours. It could also mean safer record keeping, which is an issue after thieves stole confidential patient records from an offsite KMC clinic last summer and then again in October from one of KMC's lockers.

"There are weak links when you have paper and paper has to be transferred so it moves through the facility. The electronic system will be safer than the paper system," said KMC CEO Paul Hensler.

The new system will save KMC nearly $2.5 million in operations costs and paper purchases and save time for doctors and staff who currently have to hunt down charts or orders located throughout KMC or offsite clinics.

It will take KMC about seven years to fully transition over to paperless. That should give you an idea of how much paper they have.

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