Out with the old and in with the new: Lane Regional Medical Center adopts Expanse Patient Care to make ED hand-off safer and simpler

October 5, 2021 |  Healthcare IT, nurses


There's no doubt that a busy ED can be an overwhelming experience for a patient when they receive care. But it can be overwhelming for us nurses, too. Rotating staff shifts, a high work volume, and constantly juggling priorities can make our jobs hectic and stressful.

In an atmosphere of what sometimes looks like “controlled chaos” from an outside perspective, it can be challenging to keep providers on the same page during a patient’s care journey through the ED, especially at the time of hand-off.

That’s why when Lane Regional Medical Center saw the possibilities around MEDITECH’s Expanse Patient Care solution and how we could modernize our hand-off procedures, we were excited to become an early adopter of the web-based software. 

Using Expanse Patient Care to improve ED hand-off

Patient hand-off is a critical safety issue, particularly in the ED; it’s the point when we’re transferring essential information and responsibility for care from one provider to another. If not done correctly and effectively, it could open the door to adverse events ranging from longer bed wait times, medication errors, or patient injury.

Transitions of care

Before adopting Expanse Patient Care, our protocols called for faxing handwritten reports to receiving units when patients transition between levels of care. This system left us with a gap where errors could occur, whether in transcription, a lost fax, or just a poor connection. Now all patient data is easily accessible across the continuum of care in the Expanse EHR. And not only has the potential for error been reduced drastically, but we’re also saving time. The days of babysitting a fax machine through multiple page transmissions and waiting for a successful confirmation page are over! Whenever we can move a patient more effectively, efficiently, and safely out of the ED, it benefits our staff, patients, and hospital revenue. 

Shift changes

Similarly, we’ve updated our process when changing shifts in the ED. What used to be handwritten sheets of paper is now one page of web documentation, so our nurses can quickly relay patient information to incoming staff. We no longer have to flip through multiple lab reports and physician notes to determine when a patient’s last IV or oxygen administration was — we can easily see it in the EHR. And it’s in the same format that our physicians have been using since 2019, so no one missed a beat upon implementation. Hand-off is now faster and smoother, and our nurses love the new process.

What’s next

Clear communication is the heartbeat of a first-rate hand-off. Expanse Patient Care gives us the tools to efficiently deliver patient information to our colleagues, whether at shift change or when transitioning to a different level of care. As we continue to roll out the Expanse Patient Care solution throughout our organization, our nurses are excited to join the ED in our newly improved hand-off procedures. 

Learn more about how Expanse Patient Care frees nurses and therapists to move without limitations, wherever they're needed

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Written by Jessica Troxclair, BSN, RN, Nurse Clinical Informatics Specialist, Lane Regional Medical Center

Jessica has been a nurse for 11 years and prior to working in Informatics, she held roles in several areas of nursing, including Med/Surg, Telemetry, Rehab/Skilled Care, and as a Nurse Educator. With a combined 5 years of nursing informatics experience, Jessica brought a wealth of information to her position of almost two years at Lane Regional Medical Center. Diving into her first foray into MEDITECH, she quickly helped develop nursing documentation and interventions related to the COVID pandemic. Jessica has also taken the reigns of several nursing documentation projects, including the implementation of Expanse 2.2, Expanse Patient Care. When not working at Lane, Jessica enjoys spending time with her family and friends, and coaching her daughters in softball.