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Published on November 04, 2019

Integrated Electronic Medical Record Improves Patient Care and Communication

One ViewIn four months, the first “go live” event to unify Meritas Health and NKCH patient records into one Cerner PowerChart system begins. With this project, called OneView, comes vast integration of patient records and enhanced patient communication.

Improved Communications

“Because of this integration, I will be able to see exactly what has been done at NKCH on the same chart in real time,” said Randall S. Cramer, DO, family physician with Meritas Health Landmark at Tiffany Springs. “I’m excited about how this communication will be seamless.”

Training Dates

Meritas Health project implementation will comprise two phases. NKCH providers may visit for a list of clinic implementation assignments.

Phase 1

Staff and Providers:
March 9-22, 2020

Clinic Practice Sessions:
March 23-28, 2020

Go Live:
March 30, 2020

Phase 2

Staff and Providers:
April 20-May 3, 2020

Clinic Practice Sessions:
May 4-9, 2020

Go Live:
May 11, 2020

For physicians, improved hospital-physician communication dovetails with physician-patient communication. Patients will no longer need to access both NKCH and Meritas Health patient portals to see their records. A new unified patient portal will show past and future appointments, current medications, lab work and test results. Patients also can use the portal to message their physicians; request medication refills; update allergy and vaccination information; select phone, text or mail appointment reminders; and access educational health materials.

“Anything that benefits me as a physician is going to ultimately benefit my patients. When I’m able to communicate better with the hospital, I’m able to communicate better with my patients," Dr. Cramer said.

Step Ahead

Dr. Cramer pointed to instances when patients are discharged from the hospital, but they may forget what occurred during their hospitalizations and the details of their plan of care once they have a follow-up visit with their primary care physician.

“Sometimes, patients cannot express which tests were performed, if they have medication changes and whether they have follow-up instructions,” Dr. Cramer said. “Although we can currently access this information, we have to toggle back and forth between portals. With the new system, I will receive real-time automatic alerts about exactly what was done when they were hospitalized, so I will know if a patient requires follow-up tests and treatment by multiple specialists. This will help me determine if we should continue with a plan of care or if I should make adjustments. I will be a step ahead of my patients.”

Added Convenience

Patients will be able to complete paperwork at home through customizable clipboard questionnaires, which practices can send electronically. For example, practices can send medical history forms to new patients, as well as send forms for updating immunizations and allergies to current patients. This streamlines their office visits and adds convenience.

“It’s easier for patients to fill out these forms at home, where they typically have their health history and can use their home computer,” Dr. Cramer said. “It gives more ownership to patients, too. We’re saying, ‘We’re here to help you, and you’re in charge of your care.’”

Randall Cramer, DORandall S. Cramer, DO

Dr. Cramer earned his medical degree from Midwestern University’s Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed his residency in family medicine at Memorial Hospital of South Bend.