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  • Quality Care: Technology

  • Rhode Island Hospital and all Lifespan hospitals have led the way nationally for developing and administering pioneering technological safeguards that ensure patient safety. Lifespan has developed a technological tool that ensures the accurate dispensing of chemotherapy medication. Additionally, we have been lauded for instituting a system-wide "closed loop" of medication safety that includes bedside bar-coding and reduces human opportunity for medication error.

    These health information technology tools are in place to help ensure that the right patient receives the correct dosage of prescribed medication at the right time.

    Physician Order Entry System

    We have also made advances by using health information technology safeguards that further protect patients. A clinical information system and a computerized physician-order entry system are in place at Rhode Island Hospital to help ensure the accurate and efficient transmission of orders and patient medical histories.

    Physicians and health care personnel no longer record patients' medical histories using pen and paper, which invited human error through illegibility or other possible inaccuracies. All requests for testing, from blood work to x-rays, are entered into a computerized system by the doctor working in concert with the patient. This system has built-in prompts to remind the physician of medical conditions associated with their diagnoses, so that appropriate measures can be taken.

    In an effort to improve quality care, the physician-order system has built-in prompts that prevent physicians from completing their patients' medical orders without first checking for these potential health issues (such as the risk of blood clots, for example) that might arise.

    Electronic Transmission of Medical Records

    When patients are discharged from the hospital, physicians transmit their patients' medical records to their personal care physicians (PCPs) electronically, where they can be uploaded by the PCP. This secure and efficient transference of information provides detailed accounts of patients' medical histories and other vital details. It saves both the patient and the PCP valuable time and improves accuracy. Patients no longer have to sit in their PCP's office and fill out a medical history form. Medical histories are communicated directly so thatt during follow-up appointments all medication needs, allergies or other medical issues are available for immediate review.