Electronic Medical Records

Most, if not all, of our lives are affected by technology and electronic connections even as we try to learn, adjust and accept these new changes. The medical industry is no different. Electronic Medical Records (EMR) have come to the front of conversations about how to make a medical center, like Wake Forest Baptist Health, more efficient, accurate and successful. CareNet, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wake Forest Baptist Health. Therefore, much of what happens at WFBH affects our CareNet centers.

Wake Forest Baptist Health has “embarked on one of its most profound and far-reaching integration projects to date with the transition to a new electronic medical record (EMR) system by Wisconsin-based software developer Epic. The newly adopted EMR is now known as WakeOne.

‘WakeOne is a great opportunity to provide better tools to our employees, physicians and nurses, but equally important, to provide better care for our patients,’ said John McConnell, MD, CEO of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

WakeOne offers a single, enterprise-wide platform that supports integrated clinical, billing and ancillary applications. It will replace dozens of fragmented systems that share information inefficiently or not at all. WakeOne goes live on the main campus on September 22, 2012.

WakeOne’s ‘one-patient, one record’ approach makes patient-care information portable, accurate and secure. Data such as medication lists and treatment history, flow seamlessly from one provider or department to the next, eliminating the need for patients to recite information multiple times and for providers to piece together multiple reports or re-enter data in a different system. The results are better service, improved patient safety and satisfaction, reduced time and labor, and more accurate billing. As a comprehensive platform, WakeOne’s impact will extend beyond clinical service delivery to all support services, from ancillaries to revenue cycle.

Regulatory deadlines factored into the decision to adopt WakeOne. On October 1, 2012, the clock starts ticking for hospitals and physicians to demonstrate “meaningful use” of an EMR to claim federal stimulus funds. Also of significance, providers must use billing codes based on the International Classification of Disease, 10th edition by October 1, 2013, or face rejection of Medicare and Medicaid claims. The WakeOne platform has functionality to address both of these requirements.

Patient privacy, information security and billing compliance were also major factors. ‘WakeOne will greatly enhance both our security and our regulatory compliance,’ noted Joel Garmon, chief information security officer for both the Medical Center and Wake Forest University.”[1]

It is important to note that privacy will be protected under a sharable record system. Portions of a record can be set as “non-viewable” to different levels of users. And the patient can set what and how much is released or shared with other providers. Wake Forest Baptist Health takes HIPAA very seriously; WakeOne will not change this.

According to Mike Pollard, communications manager of Information Services/WakeOne, the benefits of this new EMR system are tremendous. In addition to drastically improving the current patchwork of systems, it will allow for sharing information among departments in a timely manner, particularly for the business and revenue cycle. Essentially, WakeOne will connect the dots of patient information.

While CareNet is not on the same required WakeOne timeline as Wake Forest Baptist Health, it is important for our clinicians and centers to begin thinking now about a future change from paper records and notes to an EMR system. And the potential to connect the dots by linking physical health history to mental health history is even greater if CareNet becomes a part of the WakeOne system.


[1] Eric F. Frazier. “Introducing WakeOne.” Progress Issue 4, Fall 2011/Winter 2012: 4-6.

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