Kneibert Clinic ahead of curve
with electronic medical records
This article was published in the Daily American Republic on Oct. 29, 2006.
It is reproduced here with permission.
By JACKIE HARDER
DAR Staff Writer
While other medical facilities scramble to meet federal and state requirements to switch from paper to electronic medical records within the next decade, one medical clinic right here in Poplar Bluff has already made the transition — leading the way into the future. Kneibert Clinic's EMR system has not only been in operation for more than a year, but it recently earned the clinic special recognition from Primaris, Missouri's Quality Improvement Organization.
Primaris has named Kneibert Clinic a Missouri Select Facility, a two-year status granted to facilities that have made a commitment to improving patient care through the use of electronic medical record (EMR) systems.
Since the EMR system was put in use, not only is information more legible, but there is a greater ease of data transfer between doctors, nurses, lab workers and pharmacists.
"The retrieval of information is quick and easy. I always have access to my patients' records," said Dr. Kirby Turner.
Even for Turner, who's been in practice for more than 40 years and admittedly still has trouble sending an e-mail, the benefits of going to electronic records were so dramatic that it was well worth the transition and training.
"It was a commitment of time, effort and resources," Turner said. "But, with the electronic medical records, everything is so organized. If I go to look for something, it's in the same place every time." Kneibert Clinic made the switch from paper medical charts to an EMR system, the GE Centricity Physician Office Electronic Medical Record system, in February 2005.
During the past year, the clinic's patient and staff satisfaction rates have grown, while wait time is decreasing. The number of patient visits has increased by more than 4,000 since last year.
Kneibert Clinic's system allows physicians and nurses to have complete, up-to-the minute patient information at their fingertips, carrying laptops from room to room.
With EMR, every time a patient's medical record is accessed, the first screen the physician or nurse sees is a summary of the patient's medical record, problem list, patient photo, medication list, allergies, a section with the most current values for height, weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.
With a click of a button, each section can be expanded to show the complete detail of that section. The system also facilitates better health maintenance follow-up. Physicians are continually reminded when a patient is due for mammograms, pap smears or just a routine check-up.
"This flagging system is wonderful. I've fussed and fussed at nurses for years, trying to come up with a flag system," Turner said. "If I have a patient that has a problem and I am going to want to see them in a few weeks or months, I just put it in the system and it lets me know (if the patient hasn't been back). ... "With this, we can really deliver more care to our patients, in less time."
Kneibert Clinic has been recognized by Primaris as a Missouri Select Facility, a two-year status granted to faciities that are leading the way in implementing electronic medical records. From left are Bob Christian, Kneibert Clinic administrator; Jeanne Thoma, Primaris program manager; and Dr. Kirby Turner with Kneibert Clinic. (DAR Photo/Corey Matthews)