One Patient. One Record.

Dr. Sridevi Donepudi

Taking better care of patients more efficiently is what Dr. Sridevi Donepudi believes is the promise of a new electronic medical record (EMR) – now in place for the entire Stormont Vail Health system.

As a family medicine physician interested in preventive health care, Dr. Donepudi believes the EMR will quickly provide the “bigger picture” of her patients through health history, lab and imaging results, and visit and treatment recaps by other physicians and specialists within the Stormont Vail family.

Of course the EMR doesn’t replace the one-on-one relationships Dr. Donepudi has with her patients. It serves instead as a resource for a more complete historical health picture that can help guide decisions.

Before EMRs, there were wait times for paper charts as they made their way between physician offices or the hospital. Now, real-time results through an EMR means health care decisions can be based on current data, and tests or treatments can be delivered more rapidly.

The EMR called SV ConnectOne also improves processes and documentation for the organization while enhancing communication and efficiencies across the system.

Electronic medical records aren’t new to Stormont Vail Health – but having a single record for a patient across the system is. Both the clinic and hospital have had records in digital format for a number of years, but not all systems were able to “communicate” with each other. SV ConnectOne changes that.

The seed to move toward a seamless EMR was planted in 1995 when Stormont Vail Hospital and Cotton O’Neil Clinic joined forces and became an integrated health care system. A mutual goal for both organizations was securing technology to improve the patient experience. The synergies from that partnership resulted in improvements in patient care in many areas, but foremost has been the quest to provide patient medical records to all physicians in a secure, timely and electronic format.

In May 2011, Stormont Vail Regional Health Center replaced its inpatient system with an Epic system known as SV ConnectOne. During 2013, the system expanded to the clinic setting, bringing new tools to both physicians and patients. The system’s patient portal, called MyChart, now gives patients the ability to retrieve test results, see summaries and request appointments or prescription renewals all securely and online.

Dr. Donepudi is a lead physician developing the electronic system within the clinic. Not only has she provided clinical expertise, she’s also been a champion and a trainer for other physicians learning the system. And while she knew the switch would be challenging, she also was confident the benefits to patients and caregivers far outweighed any potential implementation issues.

The launch of the system was just the beginning for a platform that will continue to develop and provide a better health care experience for the community.

“This is an ever-evolving project,” Dr. Donepudi says. “The implementation is a starting point, but the process, like life, is one of constant evolution.”