BUFFALO GROVE, IL /Send2Press Newswire/ — Greater Northwest Medical Group, including eleven Internal Medicine and Family Practice physicians, treating patients at its Buffalo Grove, Arlington Heights, and Park Ridge offices, announces its transition from traditional paper medical charts to Electronic Medical Records (EMR).

While many medical group practices agree that electronic medical records are the “wave of the future,” few have yet taken that innovative step forward. The expense and internal operational changes are daunting to many medical groups. But the Greater Northwest Medical Group decided that the benefits to patients were well worth the commitment to EMR.

Patient safety is one of the major benefits. The move to EMR supports the position of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), a volunteer organization of national and international scientific experts dedicated to providing unbiased, scientifically balanced answers to difficult questions of national importance. IOM Committee Chair, Paul C. Tang, Chief Medical Information Officer, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Palo Alto, California explains: “Improving patient safety starts with fundamental changes in information technology systems that support care. Electronic health records that allow care providers to gather, store, and use health information more efficiently could increase the effectiveness of care and greatly reduce errors and costs.”

Despite the fact that building such an information system is easier said than done, Greater Northwest Medical Group has put this IOM theory into action. According to Practice Administrator, Michael Hartke, “The transition to Electronic Medical Records for a Practice of our size has been a formidable task, involving extensive investment in computer software and

ehardware, as well as intensive training for all levels of staff. But the benefits for our patients far outweigh our internal pain of the transition. Every office visit, medication prescribed, drug allergy notation, telephone message, diagnostic, hospital, and external specialist report is documented in typewritten form in the patient’s electronic medical record. This system eliminates any chance of misinterpreted handwriting. The EMR system also provides the patient’s primary physician – or any Greater Northwest Medical physician on call after hours – with immediate, password-protected secure computer access to the patient’s entire medical record. This gives our patients the assurance that no matter what time of day or night, treatment decisions are based on the physician’s complete knowledge of the patient’s medical history, regardless of the physical location of the physician at the time. As a result, the best medical care decisions can be made safely and quickly.”

The first office to “go live” with the EMR system was the Buffalo Grove office at the end of 2004, with the Arlington Heights and other offices following suit in 2005.

For more information about Greater Northwest Medical Group’s experience with Electronic Medical Records, or to arrange an interview, call Jackie Speckin, Media Contact, 847-540-9711; email: jlspeckin @ comcast.net.

About Greater Northwest Medical Group

Greater Northwest Medical Group is an Internal Medical and Family Practice medical practice established in 1996, currently serving patients at three Northwest Suburban office locations. Greater Northwest Medical Group is founded on the principle of working as healthcare partners with our patients. The Practice is dedicated to providing high quality, comprehensive and convenient healthcare. Our goal is to serve all our patients – from pediatric to geriatric – with effective preventative care, rapid diagnosis and treatment of acute illness, and successful management of chronic medical conditions.

The Greater Northwest Medical Group’s dedication to high quality patient care at the patients’ convenience is reflected by the unique extended office hours – including urgent care on Sundays and holidays – and ancillary services, such as in-house laboratory, physical therapy, and nutritional counseling services.

News issued by: Greater Northwest Medical Group, S.C.

# # #

Original Story ID: (167) :: 2005-03-0314-006

Original Keywords: EMR, Greater Northwest Medical Group, S.C., IOM, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Michael Hartke, Electronic Medical Records Greater Northwest Medical Group, S.C.

News Source: Greater Northwest Medical Group, S.C.