Hospital e-records system has 27K flags in first six months

(Newswatch Group/File)

CORNWALL – The Cornwall Community Hospital’s new e-records system registered just over 27,000 alerts to potential problems with medication in its first six months of operation.

Those findings are in the first batch of data from the system, shared with the hospital board Thursday night.

But Chief Finance and Information Officer Suzanne Dionne is quick to point out only a small percentage of those were “actual errors.”

The 27,312 medical alerts over six months are less than five per cent of the 588,000 prescriptions entered into the system during the same time period (98,000 a month).

The alerts can be triggered for things such as dose timing (doses too early or too late), potential overdoses and incompatible drugs.

Drug mismatches were flagged around 300 times a month, the board heard.

The system appears to be doing what it was designed to do – ensuring patient safety.

The learning curve for emergency room doctors has been steep and Dionne said there are “lots of challenges with physician entry” into the system but most are early adopters of the system with 130 doctors on board.

Over 60 per cent of doctors are entering their own medical orders into the system.

There are 1,100 people using the secure system each month and 15,000 orders are being taken a day (475,000 orders are processed a month).

Dionne said there is still a ton of work to do and the next priorities for the system will be increasing functionality of the system around the emergency room.

The CCH e-records system, which has been online since Dec. 1, 2016, is supported by Cerner Canada – the Canadian arm of the Kansas City, Mo. health information technology firm, which supplies products to 18,000 health care facilities worldwide.

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