ORLANDO, Fla., June 28 With healthcare leaders across the country fretting about electronic health records (EHRs) and the rush to qualify for American Recovery and Reinvestment Act incentives, Quammen Healthcare Consultants worked with Faith Regional Health Services to prove that the goal is well within reach. After just six months, Quammen enabled the 166-bed acute care facility to "go live" with an electronic records system - and helped put the Norfolk, Neb.-based regional referral center on the fast track toward meeting the government's meaningful use requirements.
On June 20th, Faith Regional flipped the switch on EDGE (Electronic Data to Gain Excellence), Quammen's EHR powered by Soarian Clinicals from Siemens, Malvern, Pa. On the first day of operation, clinicians placed 69% of orders electronically - far eclipsing the 10% computerized physician order entry (CPOE) adoption that the government is looking for providers to achieve by Oct. 1, the initial meaningful use deadline.
"We had the board commitment. We had the medical staff leadership. We had the information technology talent. Quammen brought us the missing component, the level of expertise that we needed to make our electronic records vision a reality. They were able to act as the quarterback for the entire project - offering a unique methodology, providing a governance structure, organizing workgroups - all in an effort to enable us to take full advantage of electronic records in quick order," says Jim Sinek, president and CEO at Faith Regional. "Now, we are ready to realize all of the benefits associated with EHRs such as safer care, better clinical decision making abilities and improved patient satisfaction. Plus, because the system is so powerful and well designed, we are also in a position to share the EHR with our referring hospitals - thereby improving care for the entire region."
Quammen utilized a unique implementation methodology that modeled the hospital's current records protocols and processing against an idyllic future electronic records vision - and then designed the system to enable immediate adoption.
"Instead of merely focusing on installing an EHR product, we help organizations such as Faith Regional define the precise functionality that they need to meet their desired goals. We take the focus off of the product and put it back on the clinical functionality and the desired clinical benefits. By doing so we are able to get everyone in the organization from C-suite executives to physicians to nurses - from computer zealots to casual computer users to computer neophytes - excited about buying into the electronic records vision," says Becky Quammen, CEO of Quammen Healthcare Consulting. "This enables small to mid-sized hospitals such as Faith Regional to move forward with their EHR projects in a pragmatic, cost-effective manner without all the costly delays and inevitable rework that is so often a by-product of traditional implementation methodologies where the primary focus is on configuring the system without a full understanding of the final outcome."
After clearly defining the vision, Quammen worked closely with hospital leaders to quickly configure the system and effectively train users in a virtual environment. The result: The organization and users were ready for a "big-bang" implementation in a relatively short time period.
"It was almost a thermo-nuclear bang implementation, considering the fact that we were also opening a new bed tower and implementing a number of new technologies on the same day as the EHR launch," says Dean French, M.D., vice president of medical affairs at Faith Regional. "But it was the right way to do it. We are only a few days into it and the staff is adopting the system. If we would have taken another approach, it could have dragged on for years."
About Quammen Healthcare Consultants
A full-service healthcare information system and business consultancy, Quammen Health Care Consultants (QHCC) offers planning, assessment and implementation services that support a wide range of health system initiatives. Healthcare providers of all sizes rely on QHCC for high-level analysis, vendor selection, deployment and support of any healthcare system available today. From strategic advisory services to hands-on implementation, QHCC helps health systems make the right choices, improve operations and achieve clinical and business objectives. For more information, visit www.quammengroup.com or call 407-539-2015 x224.
SOURCE Quammen Healthcare Consultants