Stanly Regional Medical Center Albemarle, N.C. • Paragon HIS
Brian Freeman Vice President of Operations
Jason Skeen Director of Information Systems
Stanly Regional Medical Center Looks to Reduce Complexity with Paragon® HIS
“When it came right down to it, Paragon and McKesson were a natural fit for what we were looking to do. Our clinicians and front office staff are excited. Our IT department is excited. And our executives are excited to have a vendor who really cares about us.”
“Our doctors, nurses and other staff see the end product, how easy it is to access patient data and how natural the workflow is. But on the IT side, we really see and understand how the single database takes complexity out of the system because everything is in one place.”
Remote Hosting, Improved Reporting and Eliminating Third-Party Software Promises to Make Life Easier Executives at Stanly Regional Medical Center had come to the point of no return. The hospital information system they had used since the early 1990s was showing its age.
At a Glance: Organization Stanly Regional Medical Center, Albemarle, N. C - 119 beds - 97 general acute beds, 10 rehabilitation beds and 12 behavioral health beds - Programs in cancer treatment, imaging, rehabilitation and women’s services Critical Issues - Clinician adoption of information technology - Information system complexity for users and IT staff - Meeting meaningful use requirements - Costs associated with add on systems
Perhaps most troubling, the hospital struggled to support an increasing number of third-party add-on products required to support real business demands that were not addressed by their aging hospital information system. Software to manage medication reconciliation and medical necessity verification, for example, added unwanted complexity and cost. “Every time there’s a workaround, the staff member is using another piece of software. They are pulling data out of one system, manipulating it in another and potentially bringing it back into the original system,” says Brian Freeman, vice president of operations. “Not only are there inefficiencies and software costs, but we also then have to develop an interface. And, we are also creating another point in the process that could fail—which introduces even more complications.” In addition, the hospital information system (HIS) stored data in a manner that made it particularly difficult to corral into a usable format. “For the most part, the data is all there but everything’s got its own little silo database which crosswalks or communicates with each other,” says Jason Skeen, director of information systems. “Reporting can be a real pain, particularly if you want a customized report or you need to pull data from a number of sources.”
As the frustration mounted and Stanly executives considered the future, they recognized that eliminating complexity in the IT environment would be the key to success. By doing so, they could improve information access and patient care while simultaneously reducing costs.
In reality, no one was happy with how complicated life had become at Stanly. The hospital’s clinicians, as a matter of fact, had become especially vocal as they kept demanding more simplicity. End users were frustrated by a system that lacked the ease of use and intuitiveness that they had come to take for granted on their home computers. They wanted a clinical system that would be easy to use and have a familiar Windows® feel. “The doctors and nurses didn’t want to have to remember how to use a bunch of function keys, arrow keys and all that. They wanted to jump on a system that would be as easy to use as the Windows systems that they had at home,” Freeman says. Faced with all this frustration, Stanly leaders decided they needed an entirely new approach. They opted to completely overhaul the hospital’s information technology platform and set their sights on finding a new system that would significantly remove complexity for all system users at the 119-bed hospital.
After a formal, systematic search of leading systems, Stanly executives concluded that McKesson’s Paragon® HIS was the solution that could achieve their objectives.
Certainly, the new technology is expected to bring a smile to the faces of Stanly staff members. To start, the Microsoft-based platform offers clinicians the user-friendliness they longed for. “When our physicians saw the Paragon product they immediately responded that it had the Windows look and feel and the ease of navigation they were looking for,” Freeman says. Stanly leaders decided to use McKesson’s managed services to remotely host the application and further reduce complexity. “Having McKesson host the system does a number of things for us. First, having our system maintained and managed offsite can offer a better redundancy and recovery than we could alone,” Freeman says. “Secondly, it frees up our IT staff to work on other projects.” Improving Organizational Efficiency With Paragon in place, Stanly leaders also will realize a number of efficiency improvements throughout the organization. In addition to being easy to use, the single-database solution is easy to maintain, according to Skeen. “Our doctors, nurses and other staff see the end product, how easy it is to access patient data and how natural the workflow is,” Skeen says. “But on the IT side, we really see and understand how the single database takes complexity out of the system because everything is in one place.”
More streamlined reporting is one benefit that Stanly users expect to enjoy from the get-go. “One thing we heard about over and over again when we talked with existing Paragon customers was the ease of reporting,” says Skeen. “The data is much more accessible and departments are able to create and run their own reports without IT involvement. That will make their lives easier and help IT focus on higher priority needs.” Eliminating third-party solutions also offers significant efficiency through workflow improvements. “By selecting McKesson, we were partnering with a single vendor who could help us eliminate the need for a number of third-party solutions. In fact, we expect to save more than half a million dollars per year in fees by eliminating nearly 20 third-party solutions and workarounds that are no longer necessary with Paragon in place,” Skeen reports. “When it came right down to it, Paragon and McKesson were a natural fit for what we were looking to do. Our clinicians and front office staff are excited. Our IT department is excited. And our executives are excited to have a vendor who really cares about us,” says Freeman.
“We expect to save more than half a million dollars per year in fees by eliminating nearly 20 third-party solutions and workarounds that are no longer necessary with Paragon in place.”
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