Local Hospital Goes Digital

Emergency room doctors and nurses at South Georgia Medical Center say the new technology is helping teach patients as much as improving safety and health care.

Nurses working the Emergency Department at South Georgia Medical Center now have a high-tech tool to keep track of patients. This new digital records system gives doctors and nurses instant, bedside access to patients' medical information.

Andree Shackelford, the ER nurse manager, says, "The new system interfaces a lot of other hospital systems, so instead of being just a stand along system in the ER it allows our information to be seen in other areas where patients are being taken care of."

So when patients are taken to other parts of the hospital for lab work or x-rays or treatments, the doctors and nurses there will have access to all the information they need. Emergency room doctors say the system is a benefit when trying to explain treatment options.

Dr. Douglas Moss says, "When you're looking at this right in front of them they feel like they're part of the process and it helps them get better. They understand what's wrong and they can see the lab [reports] and why they're taking the medication and they really do get better quicker."

And nurse managers say the beauty of this system is that it will be further expanded in the future to include even more important features.

Shackelford says, "There's a lot of other programs that you could integrate into this program with patient safety being the most important and communicate as well."

This emergency room digital records system is just part of SGMC’s larger digital records program, which got underway last year in the maternity ward.

ER patients say they love being able to see what the doctors are looking at and now have more comfort about the treatment they receive.