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IN hospital blames electronic records for rising ER waits

The Republic / IndyStar.com, August 9, 2012

Patients' lengths of stay in Columbus Regional Hospital's emergency department doubled in late June during a switch to an electronic records system, and times are still longer than usual despite improvements, hospital officials said. The emergency department, which had used a paper system for recording patient information, switched to an electronic system the week of June 24. The hospital, as a whole, is switching to a new electronic health records system to meet the requirements of the 2009 economic stimulus legislation, which provided incentives for using electronic health records. The benefit of electronic health records is that patient information has to be entered only once and can be shared by the various departments of the hospital, said Ron Latta, the hospital's information services director.