How Technology is Helping to Improve Patient Safety in Mexico City
Increasing patient safety is one of the reasons for promoting the use of information technology in healthcare.
The implementation of the ehCOS electronic health records in the Mexico City hospital network has lead to significant improvements in patient safety
Increasing patient safety is one of the reasons for promoting the use of information technology in healthcare. This is precisely what has prompted the Ministry of Health of Mexico City to integrate electronic health records throughout the entire hospital network with the Health Care and Hospital Information System (SAMIH, for its Spanish initials).
In several studies carried out based on real episodes of care, it has been shown that on many occasions, the essential patient clinical information is not available to health professionals, sometimes leading to medical errors that could have be been avoided with the provision of accessible, reliable and accurate data in the Health Record. SAMIH improves the opportunity and recording of medical data, thereby achieving increased patient safety.
The implementation of the ehCOS electronic health records in the Mexico City hospital network has lead to significant improvements in patient safety in the following areas:
- Reducing the risks associated with illegible handwriting in documents. With the Electronic Health Record, the information is stored in a readable and useful way that is easily accessible for healthcare personnel.
- Eliminating duplicate records. The Master Patient Index detects duplicates, allowing all the files to be associated to a single patient record where all the patient medical data and other relevant information is stored to be used by the healthcare providers in diagnoses or prescriptions.
- Patient data security. In comparison to paper records, electronic records are far less vulnerable to loss or misplacement of information. As a result, the potential loss of confidential patient information is protected, since the system has high standards of information security. Access to patient records can only be performed by authorized users with passwords, with all their actions being registered in the system.
- Statistical information generated instantly. Thanks to the availability of real-time statistical data that eliminates long waiting periods, real time effective monitoring of possible health risks is achieved, triggering timely prevention protocols to avoid adverse events in the patients.
- 3% reduction in the number of caesarean sections performed. The reduction of this type of intervention also reduces the risk of any type of complications to mothers and newborns, increasing the safety for both. SAMIH requires a medical justification for cesarean section, which has reduced the number of interventions as they are not deemed necessary.
- Increased safety in prescriptions. SAMIH is based on international criteria, with the integration of standardized drug databases that increase safety in the prescription process by creating alerts for prescription drug interactions, duplications, allergies and maximum doses to be dispensed to patients, among others.
There is no duplication of results, it is a single result, a single electronic record for each patient. It provides reliable, accurate and immediate results, making for increased medical safety to our patients.
Head of Laboratory at Hospital Ajusco Medio
The interoperability of the healthcare system helps to improve patient safety
Having access to all the clinical information of the patients at the click of a mouse offers numerous benefits, both to physicians, and more so to patients. The access to patient health information from any point in the Mexico City hospital network would not be possible without the interoperability of the systems, which allows patient information to be integrated more reliably into the Personal Electronic Health Record so they can be consulted directly by health professionals.
The availability of this great quantity of digitized patient data, ready to be viewed online, minimizes errors resulting from the transmission of information via other sources, such as paper file or even the patient, thereby increasing their own safety.
Thanks to the interoperability SAMIH, the doctors and nurses in the hospital network have immediate access to patient records. These records now contain more information and are more reliable, allowing more evidence-based diagnoses with the integration of more comprehensive information, which has a positive effect on patient health. Furthermore, it is also possible to reduce the number of unnecessary diagnostic tests that can be uncomfortable for patients at times, as well as pose certain health risks.