Hospital Leverages Cerner EHR Implementation for Care Coordination

A Cerner EHR implementation at a Wyoming hospital is expected to streamline care coordination by combining nine legacy health IT systems.

A regional acute-care facility in Wyoming has announced a Cerner EHR implementation which is set to improve care coordination and boost the patient experience.

Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County (MHSC) has been working with Cerner since late 2019 to replace numerous EHR systems with a single cohesive and secure platform.

“A single integrated EMR platform has been a top priority for MHSC for quite some time,” Irene Richardson, Memorial Hospital CEO, noted in a press release.

“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,” she added. “This state-of-the-art technology will allow us to continue to offer the community a higher quality of care.”

MHSC will go live with the EHR implementation on February 28, according to Bethany Bettolo, Cerner implementation project manager.

“We will be moving more than nine separate systems to one integrated EMR platform,” Bettolo noted. “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, an RN 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. It means a lot for us to provide this for our friends, family, and neighbors; our community.”

Brianne Crofts, MD, general surgeon and medical staff president, said that the new EHR will be a game-changer for supporting care coordination.

“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.”

The EHR implementation will provide patients with access to an online patient portal where they can send secure messages, schedule appointments, access their health information, and view and pay financial balances.

To guide the EHR selection process, the hospital formed a steering committee made up of a group of healthcare providers and staff members from various departments, including finance, informatics, and IT.

In fact, Bettolo said that there likely isn’t one of MHSC’s approximately 540 staff members that was not involved in the EHR selection process.

“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.”

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