Denton Regional Goes Digital

Electronic record keeping makes medical center more efficient.

As more people are laid off and forced to go without insurance, overcrowding is becoming a major problem in emergency rooms across the United States.

"As people are losing their insurance, more and more of them are coming to us for primary care." said Dr. Manisha Gupta, emergency medicine physician at Denton Regional Medical Center.

The increased patient loads affecting many emergency rooms is also increasing the amount of time patients spend in the waiting room.

"The hospital fills up -- that fills up the ER as we're holding patients to go upstairs," said Gupta. " That of course falls over into the waiting room where people have to wait longer and longer."

At Denton Regional, ER nurses and doctors have found a way to expedite patient visits.

"Each individual exam room has its own computer set up so the physician can document at bedside." said John Shaw, assistant director of emergency services.

The electronic records system allows the the caregiver to forego the tedious task of writing individual reports. Instead, doctors can enter in all the patients' information on the computer, by clicking on the type of trauma and reason for the visit.

"It lets you see the entire ER," said Gupta. "All the different rooms, everything the other doctors might be doing, everything the nurses might be doing, and everything that's waiting in the waiting room."

"It enhances the patients visit," Shaw added. "In the fact that the patient waits less time for appropriate care."
The Electronic Health Record technology allows Denton Regional to share patients' information with other medical centers within their network as well.

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