Rhode Island’s largest health care system, Lifespan, has just thrown the switch on a new electronic medical records system. Now there’s a single record for every one of the organization’s hundreds of thousands of patients. Dr. John Murphy, Executive Vice President of Physician Services at Lifespan, said that should help doctors better coordinate patient care and recommend only what’s needed.
“There will not be unnecessary testing," said Murphy, "because you can see what was done for every patient just by looking in their record.”
Murphy said patients will have access to their own information as well. The system includes records dating back to about 2000 in most cases, later if the organization started keeping a particular specialty's records electronically after that.
He said Lifespan hopes to recoup some of its $100 million dollar investment in the system by making billing more efficient and reducing unnecessary treatment.
The system is also compliant with a required update to hospital billing codes, scheduled for October this year.
The state of Rhode Island has been trying to enroll more residents in its own records system, CurrentCare. Lifespan's system can communicate with CurrentCare, Murphy said.