EHRs, ePrescribe, and a Snow Storm


BIRMINGHAM, AL — February 14, 2014 — With much of the East Coast dealing with unusually disruptive winter weather, a story out of Alabama shows just how much technology can help patients and medical professionals —  after hundreds of them were caught by surprise when a snow storm hit the South late last month.

“When the snow started falling outside The Kirklin Clinic, we had no idea it would become as bad as it did,” said Wendy Tissier, director of Clinical Informatics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Health System.

Many UAB staff, Tissier included, were among the thousands of people in Alabama unable to get home the night of the storm.  Staff stayed in the clinic overnight — some for multiple nights. More than 200 patients stayed as well.

Many patients and staff members were on prescriptions.  However, many thought they would be home that night and did not bring enough medication to outlast the storm. The UAB Health System uses Cerner technology in its hospitals and physician practices, which Tissier says made a big difference.

“Thankfully, we had electronic health records and a stocked pharmacy,” she said.  “We quickly looked up medications and dosages for our stranded patients and staff and were able to fill them for many in need.”

With the technology, patients were able to get needed medication in spite of the crippling storm.  “I don’t want to think what the alternative would be,” Tissier said.

Cerner Media Contact: Rebecca Gegg, (816) 982-7366, Twitter: @CernerPhysician

University of Alabama- Birmingham Media Contact: Jim Bakken, (205) 934-3887,