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Published on November 01, 2010

Ambulatory Services Department at Pearl Hall Promotes Access to Care

The Ambulatory Services department at Pearl Hall, located on the campus of Crozer-Chester Medical Center, provides medical services to patients in the area who may otherwise have limited access to healthcare.    

“Some of the services that we offer include routine and high-risk prenatal care and gynecologic and family planning services,” says Dru Hammell, administrative director of Ambulatory Services at Pearl Hall. “Orthopedic, urology, general surgery, and cardiology clinics are also available for uninsured individuals who are referred by the emergency department or other healthcare providers.”

The services of Pearl Hall are really targeted toward those who have publicly funded insurance, or who are uninsured. “Our efforts are directed to move individuals who are uninsured into Medicaid if they are eligible to apply,” Hammell says. “We process about 120 applications for Medicaid per month, with a 96 percent success rate in obtaining insurance for the applicants. Without our efforts, these individuals would only have access to healthcare through an emergency department and would add significantly to the burden of charity care for the health system.”

Once insured, these individuals can access preventive healthcare and medications that can help keep them out of the hospital and the emergency departments.

The department recently implemented the Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system with the expectation that it will promote patient safety and improve departmental efficiency.

“The EMR system has significantly improved our work flow and communication among the team members,” adds Hammell. “The EMR system has provided our staff with the opportunity to redesign the way we do work and care for our patients. Staff members who had ‘computer phobia’ have celebrated their ‘mastery of the machine’; and others who have always appreciated the tools of technology have enjoyed the innovations that are possible now.”

With the EMR system, many of the patients who seek care in Crozer’s Emergency Department, in Labor and Delivery, and sometimes in various Crozer-Keystone Health Network practices, can rest assured knowing that their health history and medical records are securely available to their other physicians and providers.

“It is an amazing benefit to have everything literally at our fingertips, like information needed to refill a prescription, answer a question or to provide the foundation for a new visit,” Hammell says.

When visiting an EMR-enabled office, the receptionist signs you in with the click of a mouse-which tells the providers in the office that you are there.  The physician seeing you that day documents your visit in the EMR.  In addition, the physician has access to any labs, radiology studies, consult notes or other clinical information from that office, other EMR-enabled offices, emergency departments or hospitals. At the conclusion of the visit, any prescriptions needed are sent electronically to the patient’s pharmacy.

For information about the services offered at Pearl Hall, or to schedule an appointment, call (610) 447-2200.

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