Healthcare technology is constantly evolving. At UnityPoint Health – Methodist | Proctor, we are committed to using technology to put patients first and make healthcare safer and more convenient.
For example, electronic health records (EHR) are an important tool for improving patient care, and both Methodist and Proctor already have EHR systems in place. In 2001, Methodist became one of the first hospitals in the U.S. to implement EHR. By 2005, the system was expanded to more than 100 physicians in Methodist Medical Group (now UnityPoint Clinic). Thanks to these state-of-the-art systems, we improved patient safety, reduced paper usage and cut costs. Methodist was also the first healthcare system in central Illinois to offer a patient portal enabling patients to communicate with their provider conveniently and securely online. This innovative use of technology to improve patient care helped Methodist achieve recognition as a “Most Wired” hospital in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Now, both of our campuses and all of our physician clinics are taking another step forward by moving to a single EHR system known as Epic. It’s part of a UnityPoint Health system-wide initiative called the IQ4 Project. IQ4 stands for Integration, Quality and the 4 smarter ways in which EHR is used to deliver quality, integrated care: right information, right process, right people, right time. At Methodist | Proctor, the conversion to Epic will go live on May 4th.
Not only will everyone in our system be on a single platform, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria physicians and OSF Saint Francis Medical Center also use Epic. In addition, Methodist | Proctor participates in the Central Illinois Health Information Exchange, which enables authorized doctors and other clinicians to share information. As a result, wherever patients go—between hospitals and clinics within our community or even across state borders—the clinicians providing their care will have immediate, secure access to the information they need, including updated medication lists, test results and health history.
With Epic, one electronic health record will consolidate information from current and past visits with your doctors, hospitals and emergency departments. Authorized doctors, nurses, therapists, pharmacists, scheduling and registration workers can access the real-time information they need, and you won’t have to keep providing the same information over and over, regardless of where your care is provided.
Other benefits include enhanced patient safety. Physician orders are entered electronically, reducing the chance of handwriting errors, while alerts notify caregivers of potential allergic reactions, negative drug interactions and duplicate orders. And because information flows seamlessly from one caregiver to another, transitions between shifts and units are smoother, reducing the potential for errors.
At the same time we move to Epic, a new patient portal will replace the current Methodist portal. Like the current portal, My UnityPoint will enable you to communicate with your doctor, access test results, refill prescriptions and manage appointments from the comfort of your own home. With My UnityPoint, you can take charge of your health and communicate with your provider wherever you go. iBi