Monday, June 27, 2011

EHR Helpful in Assisting Disaster Relief Victims

According to a post on the Office of the National Coordinator's (ONC) Health IT Buzz Blog, electronic health records (EHR) proved to be "invaluable" in assisting victims of the May 22 tornado that hit Joplin, MO.

"One of Joplin’s hospitals, St. John’s Regional Medical Center, was heavily damaged," by the tornado, says the blog post, written by National Coordinator for Health IT Farzad Mostashari and Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Nicole Lurie.

"Five patients and a visitor died in the storm, and the building is closed awaiting repair. Paper records and x-rays were lost. Yet just six days after the tornado, the hospital staff was at work again in a new temporary mobile medical unit (purchased in part, coincidently, with HHS hospital preparedness program funds). They were delivering care with full access to their electronic patient records."

Farzad and Lurie report that St. John's had transitioned to EHR just 3 weeks before the storm hit.

Source: Health IT Buzz Blog

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