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Hospitals going paperless to boost efficiency

San Francisco Chronicle / Associated Press, January 2, 2013

On one floor high in Regional Medical Center in Anniston is a room with nothing but rows of desktop computers. From there, it's a few clicks for a physician to check a patient's medical chart and prescribe medication. Outside on a wall in the hallway is a small flat screen that shows where patients are, which rooms are occupied and which need cleaning. In years past, all these things were accomplished with countless paper forms and by phone calls. Federal health care reform is changing things, however, requiring all hospitals to go paperless as a way to improve efficiency and accuracy in the medical industry. And so far, officials from RMC and the area's other two hospitals say they are on track with meeting federal guidelines.