Electronic network will provide easy access to patient records at all LSU hospitals and clinics

Doctors and nurses treating patients at the LSU public hospitals and clinics will now share medical records through an electronic network being rolled out throughout the system. The new network went live at Interim LSU Public Hospital late last month. (Chris Granger, Times-Picayune archive)

Doctors and nurses treating patients at the LSU public hospitals and clinics will now share medical records through an electronic network being rolled out throughout the system.

The new network, which went live at the Interim LSU Public Hospital in New Orleans late last month, is accessible through laptops, iPads, iPhones and other computers. Doctors, whether at the hospital or a clinic, can access a patient’s chart while residents and medical students simultaneously scroll through pages of patient vitals and X-rays during consultations about treatment.

Expanding the project’s reach, the Louisiana Public Health Institute is also working to connect 16 additional primary care clinics in the region with the New Orleans hospital.

Electronic medical records are becoming the standard across the field, as the industry seeks to make patients’ records more portable and hospitals attempt to streamline the paperwork that doctors and nurses handle.

The federal government has funneled billions into these efforts in recent years, and will begin penalizing providers who accept Medicare in 2015 if they fail to move their records online.

The LSU project, which will cost $144 million over five years, was paid for by a mix of federal and state funds. The LSU hospital in Shreveport switched to a computerized system last year, with hospitals in Monroe and Pineville slated to implement it soon. Altogether, 10 hospitals and 500 clinics will eventually be linked under the system.

Read more at NOLA.com