BRHS Begins Switch to Paperless Record Keeping

BRHS Emergency Department Associate Nurse Unit Manager, Jane Stephenson, gets some guidance on the new Electronic Medical Record (EMR) from EMR “Super User” Prudence Wyndham-Martin. The rollout of the Electronic Medical Record at BRHS has been spearheaded by the team of project lead Marianne Browne and subject matter experts Prudence Wyndham-Martin, Steph Meade and Caitlin Adams. Photos by Jake Lynch/BRHS

KEY POINTS

  • From midnight tonight, Wednesday 30 June, the BRHS Emergency Dept. and Short Stay Unit will switch to all paperless record keeping – known as the Electronic Medical Record.
  • There will be no change to the treatment or discharge process for patients, although there may be some delays as staff get used to the new system.
  • The Electronic Medical Record is not to be confused with the Australian Government’s My Health Record. They are separate systems. Care received at BRHS can be reflected in your My Health Record, if you choose.

Bairnsdale Regional Health Service (BRHS) is this week taking a significant step in the ongoing move toward digital record-keeping in the healthcare industry.

From July 1, patients being treated in the Emergency Department or Short Stay Unit at BRHS will have the details of their visit recorded in a paperless system known as the Electronic Medical Record.

For those patients, the change to an Electronic Medical Record will hardly be noticeable.

The patient’s local GP will still receive a copy of the discharge summary (the details of your visit), and the patient will still receive medication prescriptions, if medications are necessary.

The biggest difference will be behind the scenes, where the Electronic Medical Record will replace paper-based record keeping for BRHS, making the creation and storage of records faster, more efficient and more reliable.

The regional network of public health services known as the Gippsland Health Alliance, which includes BRHS, Latrobe Regional Hospital, and Central Gippsland Health in Sale, has collectively been adopting the Electronic Medical Record over the past few years.

It was introduced to Latrobe’s Emergency Department in 2019, and then to the hospital’s inpatient units.

The rollout of the Electronic Medical Record at BRHS has been spearheaded by the team of project lead Marianne Browne and subject matter experts Prudence Wyndham-Martin, Steph Meade and Caitlin Adams.

On July 1, BRHS will be joined by Bass Coast Health, West Gippsland Healthcare Group and Central Gippsland Health in introducing Electronic Medical Record to its Emergency Departments.

BRHS Chief Executive Officer Robyn Hayles said this week that Emergency Department staff had been preparing for the past few months to make what was a significant change to the processes and systems they are used to.

“Moving to the Electronic Medical Record is a terrific innovation for BRHS, and it will improve patient care by making sure clinicians always have access to the right information at all times,” she said. “Like anything new, however, it may take our staff a little while to get fully used to the new system. So, for the first couple of weeks, we’re asking the community to be patient, should there be any delays.”

Patients can still request to receive a paper copy of their discharge summary.

The Electronic Medical Record rollout will continue in the coming months to include Pathology and Medical Imaging (Sept. 2021), and then all BRHS inpatient wards (July 2022).

The Electronic Medical Record is not to be confused with the Australian Government’s My Health Record. They are separate systems.

Care received at BRHS can be reflected in your My Health Record, if you choose.

The Electronic Medical Record is simply an electronic version of a patient’s hospital visit, and is not shared with other hospitals and doctors outside of the Gippsland Health Alliance network.

If you have any questions about the Electronic Medical Record, please ask your Emergency Department nurse.

Caitlin Adams and Marianne Browne preparing for the introduction of the Electronic Medical Record to the BRHS Emergency Department this week.