ROCK SPRINGS — A major technology upgrade at Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County is coming soon. Integrating a new electronic medical record not only will streamline access for healthcare providers, it will provide the community with a better patient care experience and deliver improved outcomes.
Cerner Corp., a global health platform and innovation company, has been working alongside Sweetwater Memorial since late 2019 to replace numerous electronic medical record (EMR) systems and applications with a single cohesive and secure system.
“A single integrated EMR platform has been a top priority for MHSC for quite some time,” said CEO Irene Richardson. “In order to better meet our patients’ needs and continue to provide quality care, we knew we needed a more efficient and user-friendly EMR. This state-of-the-art technology will allow us to continue to offer the community a higher quality of care.”
After more than 13 months of planning and training, MHSC will launch its new program Feb. 28, said Bethany Bettolo, Cerner Implementation project manager.
“We will be moving more than nine separate systems to one integrated EMR platform. These vendors and their electronic systems help complete a wide variety of tasks including billing, registration, scheduling, coding, patient care documentation, storing patient records, and more.
“This is one of the biggest projects MHSC has had the opportunity to offer the community in many years,” said Bettolo, a board-certified registered nurse who works in the Nursing Informatics Department.
“As a nurse, I understand the importance of having a patient’s complete health history available when they are receiving care,” she said. “It means a lot for us to provide this for our friends, family and neighbors; our community.”
General surgeon and medical staff president Dr. Brianne Crofts said the new EMR is a game-changer for physicians, providers and nurses.
“I am very excited to have an integrated medical record,” Crofts said. “All of the information I need to care for the patient will be in one system, making it much more efficient.
“If a patient is seen in the ER and follows up at one of the specialty clinics, the provider will have immediate access to the patient’s information from the ER visit,” Crofts said. “Plus, the patient portal will be very user friendly, allowing the patient to interact with their healthcare team.”
Here’s a breakdown of just a few of the highlights:
· It will improve patient safety by having an integrated system – all patient information in one place. Medication reconciliation will be achieved in one system as patients move through service areas. Surveillance tools are in place for high-risk protocols, such as sepsis
· One source for clinical and hospital financial data
· Patient friendly portal. Patients can securely message providers, schedule appointments, view and settle financial balances and access their own health history
Throughout the search for a new electronic medical record, the hospital formed the EMR Steering Committee. The group’s primary goal is to help select and implement an EMR solution to allow each Sweetwater Memorial patient to have one integrated health record.
The team consists of an interdisciplinary group of staff members including patient care, informatics, information technology, and finance.
“An important aspect of the selection of our new EMR was to solicit feedback from our staff,” Bettolo said. “We wanted their input as they are the front line of our operations. We held multiple on-site and virtual demos, multiple reference calls and extensive hours of information exchange, which sought staff feedback on the medical record. The committee members presented the final decision to the hospital board for approval.
“Before we launched the Cerner Implementation Project, we asked employees to come up with some ideas for a theme,” Bettolo said. “We took all of those great ideas and fed them into Survey Monkey so employees could pick the favorite.”
The winning theme was Patient Experience Coordinator and Executive Assistant Cindy Nelson’s Pac-Man idea. Since then, the hospital certainly has been gobbling up quite a few third-party vendors.
There likely isn’t one of MHSC’s approximately 540 staff members who have not been involved in this process, Bettolo said.
“You’ll be hearing more from us as we get closer to launch,” Bettolo said. “We can’t wait to show you how much easier the new system will be to navigate and access records.”
Stay on top of all the updates at www.sweetwatermemorial.com or by following us on Facebook. The patient portals at www.sweetwatermemorial.com have been disabled to make way for the new and improved system.
Once the new electronic medical record system goes live, hospital staff will be available to help patients get signed into the new portal and add all of their pertinent health information. If medical records are needed during this transition, please reach out to MHSC’s Medical Records department at (307) 352-8420.
“Please be patient with us as we implement this new system,” Crofts said. “Overall, the patient experience at MHSC will improve with the new EMR.”