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New emergency department “whiteboard” to improve patient care at ETMC

ETMC Tyler is using new technology to accelerate patient care in the emergency department.

A new electronic "whiteboard," that is commonly used in hospitals, has replaced the traditional dry erase "whiteboard" with handwritten entries. The system will improve the workflow of physicians and nurses and organize and keep track of patients better.

Information is automatically displayed in real time. "The emergency departments at ETMC Tyler and ETMC South Broadway will use the new electronic `whiteboards' to track patients from the time they arrive at the facility," according to Art Chance, ETMC Tyler vice president of operations. "ETMC sees over 71,000 patients a year at both Tyler emergency departments and this technology will help us provide faster and more efficient care."

A large electronic whiteboard in the emergency department shows patients' names, the physician and nurse for each patient, wait time, lab work or tests that have been ordered or completed, assigned emergency department room and hospital room they will be moved to.

Chance adds, "This will be especially helpful in letting the staff know how long patients have been waiting since their arrival so we can expedite their flow through the system."

Computer stations throughout the emergency department will give medical staff rapid access to patient medical records and allow them to update information immediately while in the room. "Other benefits include legible writing since it's not handwritten and the information about each patient is available at all times to all staff," said Chance. The new whiteboard should also reduce paperwork. All ETMC hospitals should go on-line with the new technology after the first of the year.