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Rock Star Staff August 20, 2012

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Cerner Corp team (mostly standing) and SHC’s team of providers.

On Tuesday, August 14, a team of five Cerner Corp. associates arrived at Syringa Hospital & Clinics (SHC) in Grangeville, ID, to release a new product that will be evaluated with the medical staff.

“SHC is a proven Rock Star when it comes to balancing the use of technology and highly skilled patient care,” said Sam Marten, Technical Engagement Leader. “When we began looking for a test site for this new product, everyone thought about Syringa in Idaho.”

Armed with half a dozen new iPads and cameras on their ears, SHC’s physicians received an overview of the PowerChart Touch app for the devices. Over the next three months, the SHC team will test the software and hardware for bugs and possible improvements. They will meet bi-weekly with the Cerner Corp. development team to provide feedback to drive the software development.

“Syringa’s team is extremely progressive,” said Xavier Musenger, Client Results Executive with Cerner. “With their HIMSS 6 designation and Health Care’s Most Wired award, we are looking at this rural health care organization to help us design the final product.”

Jill Devereaux, LPN and HIT Specialist at SHC explained that PowerChart Touch is considered a “smart” application in that it create the patient’s notes as the health care provider adds visit information into the chart on the device. The iPad includes a built in camera so physicians can take photos for the chart, note exact locations of biopsies, and chart progress in healing. The built in microphones are a means of speaking words that become text in the patient’s chart.

“I really like this,” said Dr. Cheryl Mallory after an hour of training and testing. “I can see multiple improvements over our current workflow already.” The testing team includes Dr. Mallory, Dr. Danny Griffis and Dr. Abigail Lorico, plus physicians’ assistants Nathan Winder and Jessi Smith.

Remembering Things Before They Happen January 25, 2012

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Last night Cerner managed a major upgrade to its Community Works clients. As our brave employees huddled over their computers, validating the upgrade at 1:30 a.m. this morning, it occurred to me that we are a lucky crew to have selected the ASP model for our EHR solution.

Yes, sharing the domain can be frustrating when we request a change that impacts other clients in the shared space … but it is also nice when other clients have suggestions that benefit us.

Yes, it would be nice to have an IT department onsite to handle all this folderol and hoopla instead of our registration clerk, lab manager, financial manager and night nurse … but then we would have to recruit, pay and keep happy a highly skilled employee in a very rural area of the country.

Yes, frustration levels increase when changes are implemented in the domain … but then again, our software is up to date on Cerner’s dime, all the time. We don’t have to keep current on patches and updates to the system like we would if we had the software installed on our own servers.

We recently participated in our 21st reference event since going live January 2011. These events can be phone calls, emails or site visits from other health care organizations considering Cerner as their EHR partner. We answer questions, connect their employees with peer employees at Syringa, and share the good and the frustrating with them.

Syringa’s employees focus on providing quality patient care and service, so it is sometimes hard to see how far we have come on this journey. With HIMSS 6 and Stage 1 Meaningful Use Attestation under our belts, we are a model implementation; but now we have the basics under our belt, we strive for ways to better serve our patients.

Dare I mention our old friend, Alice in Through the Looking Glass? She spent some time with the White Queen – the Queen who practiced believing as many as six impossible things before breakfast. This Queen had a fantastic memory, one which roamed toward the past, but also into the future. She could remember things that had not happened yet, and found Alice’s memory “a poor sort that only works backward.”

If backward memory is experience, then forward memory is anticipation. We must anticipate what our patient’s need, the health care sector will require of us, and the economic factors that affect the bottom line.

This is where we are now. We have plenty of backward memory. It is time to move into forward memory mode: anticipating improved patient outcomes by making use of our EHR experience and information.

2011 BLOG In Review January 2, 2012

Posted by Darla in Adventures.
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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,300 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 55 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Meaningful Use and Teamwork September 16, 2011

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We pushed the “SEND” button on our Meaningful Use attestation this morning, September 16, 2011. This is a historical event – we are the first hospital in Idaho to so attest.

The reports and documents will go to Medicare, who will then determine if we are using the EHR in a meaningful (according to them) manner. See the PDF of our Dashboard, produced out of Cerner.

The effort to reach this milestone has proven exceedingly meaningful for us. Our patient care provision, workflows and development of consistent data entry processes attests to that fact. And the data we retrieve from the system is valuable in improving patient outcomes and safety, and may help us in developing new service lines.

On another note: A group of top notch folks from Cerner visited their Idaho clients this week – North Canyon Medical Center in Gooding, and Syringa Hospital & Clinics.

We focused most of our day long meeting on the frustrating and outstanding issues in the Pro-Fit module – billing, claims, charges – mentioned in the last post. Cerner’s team listened attentively and solved several of the workflow puzzles for us. They took notes on areas to investigate from their programming and engineering perspectives. Viv, our Patient Financial Services Manager, and her staff were encouraged by the visit, and look forward to working with Cerner’s team to help improve the product.

This was a win-win meeting. Cerner has the resources needed to make their outstanding EHR system exceptional. This meeting provided them with input on how to do just that from their clients’ perspective.

The win for us: a reminder that Cerner is a terrific partner for Syringa in our endeavor to improve quality, safety, service, and value for all our patients.

And another FIRST to report for Syringa: We are the first and ONLY hospital in Idaho to reach HIMSS Level 6 (out of 7). We received our letter from HIMSS Analytics in July, and at that time, we were one of 229 hospitals in the world to share this achievement. Here is an article Joe, our CEO, wrote about the award and what it means to our patients.