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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.

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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.

Meaningful Use and Albrecht Durer May 13, 2011

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Every time I hear the phrase “Meaningful Use” I am transported back to my early college years as an art major, immersed in the amazing world of 15th century creativity. In my wanderings through that ancient time I discovered Albrecht Dürer, famed artist, mathematician and philosopher. His view on art, beauty and USEFULNESS, intrigued me then, and influence me now.

According to Dürer, and paraphrased here, usefulness is an element of Beauty, and, therefore, what is of “no use to man” is not beautiful.

Wow. Is it possible that Meaningful Use, a phrase coined by the Federal Government, best known for obfuscating truth with effluent verbiage, may be, according to Dürer’s estimation, true Beauty?

From my perspective, caring for humans is definitely an art form, beautiful to observe, whether the care is from teachers, beauticians, parents, or health care providers.

Care, as an action, takes not only skill, but also a bit of magic, some mind reading, acute observation skills attuned to what is obvious and what is not, and just the right dose of assistance and coaching to get to the goal.

Meaningful Use, will require the same.

Yes, we need to employ our skills learned in years of medical and nursing school to care for our patients. But we also need to understand and observe the data we collect within the context of our community and its health goals.

This will move us toward true Beauty that is eminently Useful and the ultimate goal of Meaningful Use: improved health for everyone.

Onward and Upward – The Adventure Continues May 6, 2011

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Now that the adventure of EHR implementation is in the past, we are moving into the next Adventure in EHR Land: proving that Syringa Hospital and Clinics meets the standards of Meaningful Use.

What is Meaningful Use? According to the U.S. Government, Meaningful Use (MU) requires that medical providers show that they are “using certified EHR technology in ways that can be measured significantly in quality and in quantity.”

The current MU definition includes an extensive list of objectives which hospitals and physicians’ offices across the nation are required to meet. Each subsequent year, the criteria increase or additional are added so that, once on the MU track, an organization continues to make significant strides in improving patient care.

Syringa, now live with a fully integrated and certified EHR, intends to meet Stage 1 MU by October 1, 2011. To do this requires significant care and feeding of the EHR, the employees who are responsible for using the system, and the team spearheading the effort.

To make Stage 1 MU by the deadline, we will need to meet 14 Core objectives and 10 additional “menu” objectives. Not to bore you with these but they include collecting demographic data, placing medication orders electronically, plotting BMI, checking allergy and medication interactions and a whole lot more.

Luckily, Cerner, our EHR partner, is on the leading edge of this work. We have a MU team from Cerner that meets with us weekly, advising us in the development of policies and procedures, demonstrating the best ways to use the EHR to provide required measurement data, and keeping watch on this fluid area of Federal legislation.

Once we make MU, we will be eligible for significant incentive funds from Medicare to pay for the implementing the EHR.

All this just to document that Syringa Hospital and Clinics is an excellent healthcare provider in Idaho County, which WE already knew.

The really good news in all of this? Everyone wins, and personal health and wellness is improved for everyone who comes through our doors.