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Technology and care

The hospital's ONE initiative: Improving patient care and safety

You might have heard about the federal government's efforts to encourage hospitals, physician offices and other healthcare providers to use electronic health records (EHRs) and other technology to help improve patient care and safety and reduce healthcare costs.

The Hospital of Central Connecticut has been doing this for years - and more exciting changes are in the works with our ONE initiative. ONE refers to ONE patient, ONE record, ONE care team. What does that mean? Caring for patients involves many different people, lots of data and a variety of hospital departments, physician offices and other healthcare providers. ONE aims to bring all of these together, for each patient, by converting patient written records to EHRs and making other advancements involving technology use. These advancements will be phased in over the next couple years, and will change the way care is delivered.

For example, imagine this scenario: You have a serious dizzy spell one weekend and have to visit the Emergency Department (ED). You tell the ED nurse and physician you have some medical conditions and are taking medications, but you're still a little dizzy and confused and can't recall exactly which medications. Your ED nurse and physician can find out immediately, by accessing your medical record on the computer. There they'll find all the information they need to treat you - data your primary care physician (PCP) and other specialists have entered into your record about your medical conditions, medications, past test results, and more.

After your visit, your physician is electronically notified of your ED visit and a copy of your emergency record is in his or her electronic inbox. The Monday after your ED visit, your PCP can access your electronic medical record and see information your ED physician and nurse entered about your diagnosis and treatments. Your PCP calls or emails you to set up a follow-up appointment. Your PCP orders a few more tests and 48 hours later, you log in to a secure patient portal and review your results. You instant-message your physician with any questions.

This is the kind of scenario we're working toward with the ONE initiative. Our goal is to enhance the quality, safety and efficiency of patient care and improve patient outcomes by:
  • Facilitating information sharing - among care providers, and between care providers and patients
  • Making this information accessible at the point of care, whether in the Emergency Department, at a community physician's office or in a diagnostic lab
  • Making medical personnel's job easier and more efficient
  • Engaging patients in their care
Stay tuned for more info on this exciting initiative!