By Josh Grossberg

With hands-on training of a new electronic medical record system well underway, Keck Medical Center of USC is a step closer to eliminating most paperwork, as well as improving patient experience.

Several years in the works, KeckCare is now being implemented at Keck Hospital of USC and USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital.

Nurse Amy Zaratsian documents patient information in KeckCare using a WOW, or Workstation on Wheels. Photo/Walter Urie

Nurse Amy Zaratsian documents patient information in KeckCare using a WOW, or Workstation on Wheels.
Photo/Walter Urie

Joshua Lee, chief information officer of USC Health, said “KeckCare provides a vehicle to facilitate the transformation occurring all across Keck Medical Center of USC. By encouraging multi-disciplinary care and providing real time clinical information and decision support tools as our providers document and place orders on our patients, KeckCare inherently makes care safer and more patient centered. This continuum of care record spans inpatient and outpatient care and makes a true ‘online USC home’ for all of our patients and providers.”

In June, a group of staff members received training in KeckCare, and the response was overwhelmingly positive.

“We had zero critical issues,” said Terry Pickering, director of nursing informatics. “We had very successful staff engagement, and feedback has unanimously been overwhelmingly positive.”

With training Phase 1B now being implemented, project manager Jeannine Arnold said that workers are quickly getting the hang of the new system and are enthusiastic about what they’re learning.

“People acknowledge it’s different, but they’re catching on,” she said.

Those receiving training work in clinical inpatient documentation, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, clinical nutrition, respiratory therapy, social work and spiritual services.

Workers were taking to the new system so quickly that Arnold said the number of people who are calling for help dropped dramatically in the days since its June 4 rollout.

The idea behind KeckCare is to have all patient information available by computer at any hospital location.

Coming phases of the rollout will include physician documentation and outpatient documents.

Pickering credited people working across departments to make the process so smooth. And he said the level of collaboration among nursing and other clinical departments demonstrates the medical center’s progress on its “Magnet journey.” The Magnet Recognition Program from the American Nurses Credentialing Center is a prestigious citation that recognizes quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovation.

“The interdisciplinary collaboration associated with KeckCare implementation speaks volumes to our organizational readiness for Magnet,” Pickering said. “This project has created a groundswell of positive collaboration between nursing and other departments.”

One of the boosters of KeckCare is hospital chaplain the Rev. Phil Manly.

“Now we will become more of a high-tech hospital,” he said. “Even from a chaplain’s perspective, I will be able to get more quality time at the bedside. I went from 35 forms I had to get off the computer to seven pages.”