July 02, 2012
Moundview Memorial Hospital’s health IT journey
Located in central Wisconsin, Moundview Memorial Hospital is a
25-bed critical access hospital that serves a primarily seasonal tourist
patient population (the Wisconsin Dells,
a major tourist area, is nearby). Earlier this year, the hospital went live
with a remote-hosted
set of health IT solutions designed to streamline patient care. We sat down
with Cindy Buchanan, MSN, MHA, chief nursing officer at Moundview, to chat
about factors that contributed to their successful implementation, their
Meaningful Use journey and other topics.
What challenges drove
your decision to implement HIT?
We wanted to streamline the care we provided to our patients. The nice thing
that the Cerner system presents is that the physician can now open the patient’s
chart and see the entire journey. We also needed to improve our documentation
processes. Our HIM department used to be bogged down with orders that weren’t
signed. Now, we get an electronic signature and we’re good to go. The other
thing is the paper charts themselves, and questions like, “Where’s the ER
chart? Where’s the clinic chart?” The EHR system solves that.
When did you go live
with your new system?
CB: We went live
on March 1, with what’s basically a full suite of solutions on the clinical and
financial sides. We made the decision to do a complete suite because, when you
network with other systems, the one word you always hear is that they don’t
talk, or the information isn’t as streamlined. One problem we had with our
previous system is it didn’t talk to anything. All of the Cerner systems talk
to each other, which helps us avoid fragmented patient care.
What challenges arose
during implementation, and how did you overcome them?
CB: Other than the
nursing staff, some of our staff members are not as technologically savvy. I
knew coming in here that we’d be a bit behind the eight ball in that regard, so
ongoing customer support was huge for me. Looking at how Cerner would support
us compared with the other vendors we looked at, I knew we’d need the extra
support that Cerner would provide. To go a step further, our subject matter
experts worked with Cerner to build the system, which was very helpful in a
successful implementation. How we would do things without our support team is
beyond me. I knew where I wanted to go, and was able to make those decisions
with the information our Cerner team provided. Administrative support is huge
during the implementation process. I knew I had my CEO’s support, which made
handling those tough decisions during much easier.
Where are you on your
Meaningful Use journey?
CB: July 13 is
the end of our 90-day attestation window, and we’re doing phenomenal,
especially with Cerner support through the process. I think that’s the one
thing you get with Cerner. You truly are working as partners to achieve
success, whether that’s a successful go-live or achieving Meaningful Use.
What benefits have
you seen from using your system since go-live?
CB: For me,
auditing the charts is so much easier. Looking at MU for example, it’s easy to
go into the system and see what is and isn’t being documented. Then, you can go
train the nurse on what to do differently in her workflow. That’s the thing
with having a complete system, there’s little variance between the solutions in
the different departments. The workflow is the same, and it makes training so
much easier. We try to do our own float pool internally, and it makes the nurses
a little more responsible for documentation in different departments.
What about benefits
for the patients?
CB: If I’m a
patient and I have questions about my care or lab results or anything, the
information is readily accessible for the clinicians. The system is so easy to
navigate and find what you need, it streamlines the patient care experience.
The physician can spend more time in dialogue with the patient instead of
bogged down in paperwork.