CT Specialty Hospital Looks into MEDITECH EHR Implementation

The estimated $7.6 million MEDITECH EHR implementation, supported by state and federal funding, is set to streamline the referral process between outside care providers and reduce clinical documentation.

Connecticut-based Gaylord Specialty Healthcare is looking into a MEDITECH EHR implementation costing nearly $7.6 million, according to reporting from myrecordjournal.

The EHR system would be partly covered by state and federal funding. Currently, the State Bond Commission is reviewing legislation to offer Gaylord Specialty Healthcare $4.5 million for the implementation.

In addition, Gaylord said it would use $2.6 million of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to be distributed by the state Department of Public Health to support the EHR implementation.

“We hope the state approves as much as they possibly can, and of course, whatever is left over Gaylord will have to pay for,” Kathy Reilly, director of healthcare advocacy and legislative liaison at Gaylord Specialty Healthcare, said in a public statement.

“So we certainly appreciate not only the funds that came out of ARPA funding but what is allocated out of bond funding,” Reilly continued.

Mary Mushinsky, a Connecticut House of Representatives member, has been working with the specialty care hospital for months to help it secure sufficient funding for an EHR implementation.

Mushinsky said the approval to use ARPA funds provided was a breakthrough in getting the project off the ground. The allocation was approved in the state budget revisions, myrecordjournal wrote.

“The price tag was a problem for a while, and we had to find a way to combine different sources of money to do it,” Mushinsky stated. “That was really the obstacle.”

The MEDITECH Expanse system will replace an 18-year-old legacy system that is no longer compatible with EHRs in surrounding acute care hospitals.

By adopting MEDITECH Expanse, Gaylord Specialty Healthcare will be able to streamline the referral process, therefore, reducing clinical documentation for staff, Reilly explained.

“We really saw during the pandemic how labor intensive the referral process was and how it really needed to be streamlined more,” Reilly mentioned. “It only created a backup and backlog with our hospital’s patients not being able to be accepted as quickly.”

Most Connecticut hospitals were using Expanse at the start of the pandemic, and Gaylord Specialty Healthcare found it challenging to transfer records stored there into its legacy EHR system as it admitted COVID-19 patients.

The new EHR system, scheduled to go live after an 18-month implementation period, would also benefit patients, the specialty hospital said.

MEDITECH Expanse will offer an online patient portal that can be used to access medical records, lab reports, and documents from their doctors’ visits.

In the last few years, MEDITECH has risen in popularity. According to a 2022 KLAS market share report, MEDITECH had the second-highest net growth acute care hospital market share behind Epic Systems.

“MEDITECH Expanse has gained confidence in the market,” Helen Waters, executive vice president and chief operating officer at MEDITECH, said in a public statement about the KLAS report. “Our impressive KLAS rankings and substantial net new wins continues to validate MEDITECH as a major player in the industry, and it speaks to the tenacious influence the company has had in health IT.”

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