Digital Medical Records Go Live

eRecord logoThe single largest IT project that the University of Rochester has ever undertaken has been realized with the launch of eRecord, the Medical Center’s new electronic medical record (EMR) system.  With initial rollout to inpatient units, emergency departments, pharmacies, and outpatient oncology, eRecord went live at Strong Memorial Hospital on March 5, 2011. Necessary around-the-clock coverage continues to be staffed.

“eRecord is the centerpiece of our plan to improve patient [care] quality and safety,” said Medical Center CEO Bradford C. Berk, M.D., Ph.D.  It “is the mechanism that will be the key to achieving this strategic goal.”

eRecord will replace several disparate information systems and create a single, integrated EMR shared by the University’s entire medical enterprise.  David A. Krusch, M.D., Chief Medical Information Officer and co-director of the eRecord project, explained that the system will “close the loop” in clinical communication by giving all caregivers a comprehensive view of a patient’s medical information.  This will ultimately improve patient care by streamlining workflows and eliminating duplicate testing and transcribing.


Highland Hospital will launch eRecord on June 11, 2011, and ambulatory practices are scheduled to integrate the system by summer 2012.  Additional departments, including radiology, anesthesiology, and transplant services, will also migrate in the next three to five years.

On choosing eRecord, Berk said “it is the most robust system, the most comprehensive, and gives the best impact in terms of its usability.”  The entire system is backed up twice to decrease the likelihood of service disruptions and outages.  This $78 million project “aims to bring URMC’s health information technology infrastructure on par with that of the nation’s top academic medical centers.”

More than 8,000 clinicians who will use eRecord have been training since January.  Classroom training sessions—running 12 to 15 hours per day, six days a week, and led by 45 trainers—familiarize users with the system’s features and navigation.

Launched in conjunction with eRecord is a secure web portal called MyChart, which is available initially to oncology patients.  MyChart allows patients to view parts of their records, such as medications and lab results.  eRecord also feeds into the Rochester Regional Health Information Organization (RHIO), a secure, electronic exchange that connects data from more than 20 local health care organizations and supplies authorized medical providers with unified, virtual patient records.

The ultimate goal of building this integrated EMR, Krusch said, is to have “one patient, one record, one system.”