May 16 2012
Merging hospital cultures AND EHRs
Mergers can be one of the more difficult processes to manage in business. Each group involved brings their own processes, ideas and culture, aspects of doing business that have often taken years to develop. In a health care setting, especially in recent years, mergers also bring questions about technology. Which EHR system does each group use? Can they work together, or is the decision based around one system or the other? Tough questions, especially when patient care is considered.
In Kentucky, Catholic Health Initiatives is merging Jewish Hospital and St. Mary's HealthCare and Saint Joseph Health System. The new organization will be called KentuckyOne Health and will have nearly 200 locations and more than 2,300 beds. CHI regional CIO Tim Wittman recently sat down to discuss the merger with MedCity News. In the interview, he shares that the keys to creating a new culture during a merger are building trust and creating a common vision.
"It's a lot of work to build a new culture and it can't be rushed," Wittman said in the interview.
In the interview, Wittman also addressed what KentuckyOne is doing on the technology side to help develop the new culture. KentuckyOne has an employee blog to help share information on the new company. CHI is also working on creating order sets for a new clinical information system, and soliciting feedback from doctors across the country and Wittman mentioned they received more than 100 comments on what the sets should like from doctors in Kentucky alone.