|When you imagine a physician or nurse making decisions about patient care, you typically visualize the staff member consulting a paper chart. Thanks to a technology advance at the hospital, paper charts are soon to be a thing of the past.
AAMC’s newest technology - known as Point-of-Care software - allows nurses and other clinical staff to document patient information right at the patient’s bedside. Using a computer brought into the room, hospital personnel can enter a patient’s information in real time, rather than hand-writing the information into a paper chart.
“While it definitely saves time to enter the information while we’re at the patient’s bedside, having Point-of-Care software also makes it possible for physicians to immediately access a patient’s medical record in an emergency situation,” says Lucile Culbreth, chief nursing
officer at AAMC. “In a situation where seconds count, Point-of-Care software can literally be a lifesaver.”
Point-of-Care software allows valuable information - including vital signs, symptoms and lab results—to be typed into the system and retrieved instantly. The information can be seen by anyone in the hospital who has the security clearance necessary, and the potential to misfile or lose the patient’s chart is eliminated.
A Piece of the Technology Puzzle
Point-of-Care software is just one way that AAMC is working toward our goal of creating a complete electronic medical record for patients.
“The picture archiving and communication system [PACS] we have in place already allows physicians to securely electronically access radiology images from computers in the hospital or their offices or homes,” Culbreth says. “The Point-of-Care software builds on that technology by allowing physicians to easily access patient information. Within a few years, we hope to acquire the remaining technology we need to have completely paperless medical records.”