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Lakeland Regional to Go Live with PEARL

Friday, June 1 2012

On Tuesday, June 5, years of dedicated research and phase-by-phase implementation will culminate as Lakeland Regional phases out paper patient records and fully implements its comprehensive electronic health record system, known internally as PEARL (“Patient Electronic Accessible Records of Lakeland”).  This incredible undertaking, which will have a direct, positive impact on patient safety, will prove to be one of the largest technological advancements in the hospital’s 95-year history.  When PEARL is fully implemented, care providers will have electronic access to a complete health record for every patient and Lakeland Regional will be further equipped to deliver the safest and highest level of care.   

Enhancing Patient Care

How will this comprehensive electronic health record system positively impact patients and their families? 

  • Patients’ medical records will simply be a mouse click away.  When patients come to the E.R. (after having been admitted during a prior visit), caregivers can instantly access medical histories, including allergies, surgeries and current medications. 
  • Another strength of the PEARL technology, it allows care providers to have access to real-time information. For example, if a patient has been receiving care for a period of time, in which his or her condition continually changed, the medical team can instantly retrieve the most current information. They will no longer have to wait on “paper results” for recent CT scans, blood tests and more.
  • PEARL brings a host of other advantages that have a direct result on patient safety — including technology which enhances and strengthens Lakeland Regional’s “We I.D.” protocol.  Instead of verifying patients’ wristbands before administering medications, care providers now utilize hand-held wireless devices to scan the medications and patients’ wristband – verifying they are a positive match.
  • Furthermore, this comprehensive system will allow Lakeland Regional to no longer depend on handwritten paper documents, which can leave room for error. 
  • Another plus, the PEARL system directly correlates with Lakeland Regional’s sustainability initiatives to conserve natural resources, as the need for paper documents is greatly, if not completely, reduced.

The Journey to PEARL

 The journey to a complete electronic health record system has been a priority at Lakeland Regional for more than a decade, each new step seamlessly paving the way for the next. While the hospital had been utilizing electronic information systems for units throughout the hospital for years, each unit began transitioning to Cerner®, the software solutions company that would ultimately deliver a total health record system.  Here is a glimpse into the journey:

  • In 1998, LRMC’s pharmacy first utilized Cerner®, and in 2006, the lab services area began using it.  As a result, it helped provide safe medication delivery, while tracking patient results and orders.
  • In 2008, LRMC implemented the McKesson Post Discharge Electronic Medical Record, enabling clinicians to access scanned records.
  • In 2010, the E.R. and Perioperative Services (to include the O.R.) went live with PEARL – bringing greater ease in reporting statistics, retrieving data for procedures, ordering supplies, accessing real-time records, and most importantly, offering safer patient care.
  • In October 2011, Lakeland Regional moved forward with PEARL as they transitioned from paper medication administration records to electronic medication administration records.  They also began utilizing mobile scanning devices to positively identify patients before administering medications.
  • In January 2012, the hospital went live with an electronic bedside identification and labeling process for the collection of patient lab specimens.
  • In June 2012, Lakeland Regional’s total electronic health record system, PEARL, will go live throughout the hospital.
  • In 2012 and beyond, Lakeland Regional will continue to work with other providers to create a health information exchange.  The global plan is to have a single record for each patient, enabling patients to have a full record of care, whether they are a returning patient to our hospital or a first-time patient from another area.

As Lakeland Regional enthusiastically moves forward with the final stages of implementation for PEARL, patients can expect a seamless and smooth transition. As a result of this transformation, Lakeland Regional is proud of the positive impact it will have on patients, care providers and the entire community.

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