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Transition to electronic medical records completed

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HANCOCK – Patient-centered care at Portage Health took a major step forward as Portage Health Medical Group upgraded to electronic medical records.

The transition began in October with family practice in Hancock and finished in March with internal medicine.
“We are now completely live,” said Dr. Kirk Lufkin, chief medical officer at Portage Health.

The tools will allow doctors and nurses to have easy access to patient’s charts, and receive notices for simple screenings, such as mammograms.

No more sending requests to medical records and having to pick them up or have them delivered. No more missing papers or unsure dates. Instead, patient records are securely stored and readily available for staff.

Implementation has made it easier to track preventative-care results like cancer screening. The most recent quarterly review showed successful utilization of pap smears and mammograms at 98 percent.

“Numbers like that show how valuable this system is for the patient-centered medical care we provide,” said Lufkin. “It’s an incredibly powerful tool.”

The records have made appointments more efficient, and now that staff is fully transitioned, patients are noticing a difference.

“This has increased our efficiency, allowing our staff to better meet the needs of our patients,” said Shannon Richter, RN, medical group unit manager.

A small slide show explaining the benefits of electronic medical records will be available Saturday at the third annual Health and Safety Fair. Go to portagehealth.org/fair to learn more about the fair or portagehealth.org/emr to learn more about electronic medical records.

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