Navigation Links
Mercy's Digital Hospital Records Save Lives in Joplin
Date:5/17/2013

Joplin, Mo. (PRWEB) May 17, 2013

Diane Humphrey remembers the frustration two years ago as she sat with her stricken husband in the cardiac care center of the old St. John’s Regional Medical Center. His room was close to the floor’s station, where she heard nurses struggling to learn newfangled electronic records software installed by Mercy just weeks earlier. “I’d just want to say, ‘Hit that button, sweetheart,’” she recalled.

She didn’t know the digital records would save her husband’s life.

Humphrey’s is just one of a myriad of stories from May 2011 when a massive tornado ravaged Joplin, leaving a path of destruction six miles long and a mile wide, more than 160 dead and thousands injured and homeless. The hospital suffered a direct hit from the EF5 storm; its ruined hulk became an iconic image amid the devastation.

St. John’s co-workers and volunteers evacuated 183 patients. Hundreds of newly injured streamed toward the stricken hospital, where nurses and doctors treated those they could in a parking lot and arranged transportation for others to facilities nearby.

Ripped from the hospital, old X-rays and paper files floated to the ground as far away as Springfield, some 70 miles distant.

It didn’t matter. The Mercy medical records that counted were safely housed in a data center more than 200 miles away. It was technicians there – protected by thick, windowless walls in a Mission Control-like room – who were the first outside Joplin to know something was amiss at St. John’s. They say that’s when the hospital’s computers suddenly went offline.

Mercy’s data center had opened just months earlier in a blockhouse of a building in Washington, Mo., as the centerpiece of a $550 million investment Mercy made in electronic records. The early 2000s commitment put St. Louis-based Mercy and its hospitals in four states at the forefront of technical innovation. It was years before federal legislation would push other health care organizations to embrace the technology.

Through the past decade, the American Hospital Association repeatedly has named Mercy a “Most Wired” health care organization. The technology now fully links all of Mercy’s physician offices and acute-care and critical-access hospitals, with work continuing on those recently added to the health ministry.

Improving patient care and cutting costs primarily spurred the tech commitment, according to Scott Richert, a Mercy tech leader. “We also knew it could help in the case of a disaster,” he said. “But nobody anticipated Joplin.”

Soon after learning of the tornado, the tech team asked Mercy hospitals near Joplin to begin printing the hospital’s records. Trucks carried the printouts to Joplin just hours after the storm to reunite health histories and medical records with patients sent to non-Mercy hospitals. Records came up instantly on computers for patients who landed at nearby Mercy hospitals.

Those included Lee Humphrey, 54. He and Diane, 59, had survived the storm by hiding under a stairwell at their apartment complex not far from St. John’s. The pacemaker implanted weeks earlier recorded how his heart stopped amid the terror of the tornado, and how the device kept him alive – for 2 minutes, 41 seconds.

To maintain his health, Lee also needed medications that doctors had tweaked just days before the tornado. But the drugs and their records had blown away with their apartment, so the Humphreys sought help at several makeshift clinics in Joplin.

Things turned desperate the morning after the tornado, when Lee suddenly appeared weak and ashen. “Lee had turned totally gray,” Diane said. “We had to get his medications, but nobody knew for sure what he needed.”

An ambulance transported them to Mercy Hospital Springfield. His health care history had beaten him there as the electronic blips of a digital network. “Those records saved his life, I have no doubt,” Diane said.

The Humphreys, soon to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary, are living at least temporarily in a small apartment in a Joplin suburb. Like many, they’ve struggled to put lives back together after the storm. But they know many who have been through worse.

So the couple counts their blessings. “Most important,” Diane said, “is that we’re both still here.”

Mercy is the sixth largest Catholic health care system in the U.S. and serves more than 3 million people annually. Mercy includes 32 hospitals, 300 outpatient facilities, 39,000 co-workers and 1,900 integrated physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. For more about Mercy, visit http://www.mercy.net.

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/5/prweb10742268.htm.


'/>"/>
Source: PRWeb
Copyright©2012 Vocus, Inc.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Air Graffiti Dallas Uses New Digital Spray Paint Technology To Aid Children With Autism
2. Novatus Contract Management Teams Up with DocuSign to Empower Companies to Keep Business Digital
3. Digital mammography cancer detection rates may vary significantly
4. RSNA: Digital Mammography Cancer Detection Rates May Vary Significantly
5. After the breakup in a digital world: Purging Facebook of painful memories
6. SF Cable Releases Amplified HD Digital Outdoor Antenna with Motorized 360 Degree Rotation, UHF/VHF/FM Radio
7. Grey Matter Marketing Launches Industry-Wide Medical Technology Digital Marketing Survey
8. Scientists scan the human heart to create digital anatomical library
9. New SYNDICAST Service by Digitell Increases digitalNow Virtual Audience by 7 Fold
10. Cloud Medical Doctor Software Corporation (Cloud-MDs) (Pink Sheets: NSCT), announced today that it has expanded the capabilities of its Cloud+MD Office product suite with the formation of its digital security division, CipherShop™.
11. Global Vision to Host StandardPractice Seminar NYC - A Seminar Series for Digital File Creation
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Many women are ... with endometriosis. These women need a treatment plan to not only alleviate symptoms ... can help for preservation of fertility and ultimately achieving a pregnancy. The specialists ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Austin residents seeking Mohs surgery services, can now turn to ... Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and surgical dermatology. , Dr. Dorsey brings specialization to ... fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed by Dr. Dorsey was under the direction of ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, FCPX users ... - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms over 1,300 ... Pro X . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it above media or ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Beach, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... UCLA with Magna Cum Laude and his M.D from the David Geffen School of ... Diego and returned to Los Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June ... a Bronze Wellness at Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments ... of the 7th annual Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... CHAPEL HILL, N.C. , June 24, 2016 ... in healthcare decisions and regulators/payers have placed more ... this new environment, patient support programs in the ... support for patients, medications. Consequently, pharmaceutical companies are ... to ensure they are providing products and services ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... FRANCISCO, Calif. , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... ), a biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics for ... unmet needs, today announced the closing of its ... of common stock, at the public offering price ... in the offering were offered by GBT. GBT ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 2016 Dublin ... addition of the " Global Markets for Spectroscopy ... This report focuses on the ... review, including its applications in various applications. The report ... includes three main industries: pharmaceutical and biotechnology, food and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: