Phoebe Putney Health

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The Client

Phoebe Putney Health includes a network of more than 4,500 physicians, nurses, professional staff and volunteers delivering healthcare to more than 500,000 residents in a 35-county region in southwest Georgia. They operate a network of hospitals, family medicine clinics, rehab facilities, auxiliary services, and medical education training facilities across five locations. The flagship hospital, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, is a teaching hospital and a regional center for cancer and cardiac medicine, and the Phoebe Cancer Center is one of the busiest and most advanced in the Southeast United States.

The Need

In 2013, the client received notification that their IT vendor was sun setting the Hospital Information System, McKesson, for the main hospital. At that point, Phoebe Health was using several information systems across the Health System and shared very little data between locations. They also wanted a high value, low cost of ownership solution. Phoebe took this opportunity to consolidate: one EMR, one patient, one record across all locations.

Santa Rosa was initially engaged to assist Phoebe with the standardization process prior to the MEDITECH implementation. Phoebe eventually planned to roll-out MEDITECH and wanted to prepare for it with a preemptive standardization project. During this initial project phase, Santa Rosa’s expertise became evident.  This made the decision to partner with us on the MEDITECH implementation portion easy for Phoebe’s leadership because trust in our team had been established, and we had demonstrated an ability to deliver exceptional results.

Santa Rosa began Phoebe’s MEDITECH implementation with a situational assessment. We visited each of the facilities to get a sense of their current information systems issues, best practices, manual processes, core business practice workflows, and metrics. The needs of each facility were unique, but we heard similar things from everyone about the difficulty of sharing data and not being able to access the full patient data when they needed it. Phoebe also wanted to further prioritize standardization as part of the new system implementation in an effort to create a shared vision with common goals and objectives across all of their locations. After gathering insight from users, Phoebe Health dubbed this engagement Project One: One Patient, One Team, One Experience.

The Solution

The new system implementation began in early 2014 and went into production at all facilities concurrently in fall 2015. This was a tremendous effort and huge milestone for the staff and the Health System. This project was the largest MEDITECH 6.1 go-live to date for a facility this size. Transitioning from a third-party system to MEDITECH was a huge milestone for Phoebe. It required hard work by many people. Eighteen core teams with over 350+ members participated and supported the implementation, with Santa Rosa providing Phoebe with MEDITECH Consulting Services, Implementation & Activation Services and IS Management Partnership Services.

A guiding principle in this implementation and standardization, aside from ensuring that MEDITECH best practices were being observed, was achieving consensus and agreement among all facilities. A democratic process was necessary to encourage input and discussion from all facilities rather than a “top-down” process. This was especially important due to the difference in size of the facilities: no one was getting their way just because they were a larger facility. Santa Rosa worked closely with Phoebe team members to build consensus with the leadership team and set the vision and course for implementing MEDITECH and a comprehensive approach to standardization.

Selected results include

Improved patient care through:

  • Implementation of Transfusion Administration Record
  • Radiology scanning contrast for allergy check-in
  • Implementation of Bedside Medication Verification in ER, Pre-Op, OR, PACU and other procedural areas
  • One Medication Administration Record for the patient anywhere the patient goes
  • Records easily accessed by physicians and clinicians between all facilities
  • Improved CPOE utilization

Workflow optimization included:

  • Streamlined anesthesia workflow
  • Timely access to physician documentation and reduction of transcription costs
  • Charge capture on documentation and reduction of manual charge entry
  • Provider and clinician viewing of patient information from anywhere including outside the hospital and streamlined radiology integration with orders and results

Standardization benefits included:

  • Established best practices and set benchmarks for quality, safety and performance
  • Improved patient flow and avoiding delays, while preventing mistakes or errors
  • Provided clear documentation of the current processes
  • Improved communication and reduced problems and issues
  • Provided predictability of results and baseline for improvement activities
  • Promoted efficiencies, productivity and collaboration between facilities
The Results

Of the 100 standardization points being tracked in 11 areas, 94% of the points were standardized. The remaining 6% were partially realized with approved variances from the Health System or post live review after the implementation. Phoebe ultimately saw advantages in the form of improved patient care, optimized workflows, and system-wide standardization.

In the year following the project, Phoebe achieved Stage 6 of the HIMSS Analytics Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Adoption ModelSM, an award which recognizes their accomplishments in implementing technology solutions to improve patient safety and quality of care. Implementing MEDITECH, achieving standardizing, and getting all the facilities integrated across one system was instrumental in winning this award.