By Frank Lewis
If it has become frustrating to you to have to answer the same questions over and over when you visit a hospital there is news out of Adena Health System that may be relief from that experience. After more than 430 days of preparation, early Saturday morning, Adena Health System’s acute care hospitals and Urgent Care locations went with its more than $15 million information system upgrade.
“We have completely rebuilt the infrastructure,” Linn Weimer, Adena’s chief information and strategy officer, said. “It truly has been a journey, and we are definitely ready.”
The initiative is known within the Health System as Adena One, a project that has been a key Adena strategy for nearly two years. The new system replaces several older systems, creating a single, streamlined, integrated information system that will be the primary tool to input and store patient data, physician orders, treatment plans and much more. The planning, design, build, training and functionality of the new information system has been the primary focus of more than 120 team members, which include clinical and non-clinical caregivers.
Will the new system mean a patient’s records will follow them wherever they go within the system?
“Yes, the new system replaces several old systems in various departments. A lot of times those systems didn’t interface effectively, meaning patients may have to re-register as they had to check into different departments,” Maria Smith, director of corporate communications for Adena Health System, said. “Patients often are asked the same questions about their medical history during each encounter. The new integrated single system will mean the patients health record/information travels with them as they proceed through the hospitals. Phase 2 of the project will include the physician offices, many of which have their own information system. Once they are online next fall (2016) that information will also be accessible throughout the health system. It will also mean one billing summary and a single bill for those services provided by Adena-employed physicians.
With Saturday morning’s launch of Adena’s new Meditech 6.15 information system, patients could experience minor delays during the first several days, as caregivers become comfortable with the new program.
“We are asking patients to be patient with our caregivers as they get comfortable using this new technology,” Adena President & CEO Mark Shuter said. “The benefits in the long run of having a single information system are going to be tremendous for our patients and for our caregivers.”
Shuter said the immediate gain for patients will be that details of Adena-provided hospital and Urgent Care services will be included in a single patient health record, and immediately accessible to inpatient caregivers or those in other treatment areas of the hospital. The new system will also mean better documentation, improved access to information, fewer delays, faster discharge, and less opportunity for clerical errors.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.