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A recent conference hosted by Mount Desert Island Hospital provided a glimpse at the future of electronic health records in Maine.

Nearly 60 representatives from five Maine hospitals gathered at the Atlantic Oceanside in Bar Harbor for the February 5th Maine CPSI (Computer Programs and Systems, Inc.) Users Group informational session.  The hospitals came together to compare notes on CPSI software, a hospital-specific database that manages patients’ clinical and financial records.

“Electronic health records are fast replacing paper records,” said Brenda Smith, MDI Hospital’s Clinical Information Systems Specialist. “They allow patient records to be shared efficiently among different providers, help our clinicians make decisions about care, and promote the delivery of evidence-based medicine.”

The event provided an opportunity to review the newest version of CPSI software and to discuss testing done by MDI Hospital.  The conference featured ten workstations that provided attendees a chance to try out different modules of the software.

“We have been using our test server to evaluate this new version of the CPSI software,” said Smith. “We test the software before going live because it makes for a smoother transition,” said Smith.

CPSI provides a complete health information and patient care system that encompasses the full spectrum of financial and clinical applications for the Hospital patients.  It includes many features that ensure patient safety and efficiency of care.  The Hospital is currently researching software that will also allow physicians located in the health centers to enter orders for patients and to interact remotely with patient records.

Dev Culver, Executive Director of HealthInfoNet, provided the keynote presentation, discussing HealthInfoNet’s mission to connect hospitals, and health centers, throughout Maine with a secure network that will ensure the efficient exchange of patient health information.  Culver explained that one important goal of the program is to avoid unnecessary cost by making previous test results available wherever a patient seeks care.

“Dev was asked to speak because as we move closer to system-wide electronic health records, it is important that CPSI users understand how our systems will fit into the larger, statewide network, said Smith.  “Our goal is to not only be able to share patient records throughout our own system, but to make it available wherever a patient goes for care.”

This CPSI conference was the second session held in Maine for the hospitals using CPSI.  The group first met in October, 2009 at Mayo Regional Hospital in Dover Foxcroft.  Hospitals using CPSI incude Cary Medical Center, Calais Regional Hospital, Penobscot Valley Hospital, Down East Community Hospital, MDI Hospital, Mayo Regional Hospital, Millinocket Regional Hospital, and Mid Coast Hospital

“These events allow Maine CPSI users to network with their peers and learn from each other’s experiences, said Smith. “It also gave us an opportunity to see how we can fit into a statewide effort to connect hospitals and ensure safer, more efficient care for our patients.”

Mount Desert Island Hospital; Critical Access to Quality Care Since 1897
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