Federal funds prompt EHR rollout, integration at Florida hospital

By Bernie Monegain
09:37 AM

Florida's Bethesda Healthcare System and its flagship hospital, Bethesda Memorial Hospital, are rolling out integrated electronic health record and practice management technology.

The health system has deployed the PrimeSuite electronic health record, practice management and interoperability solution from Carrollton, Ga.-based Greenway Medical Technologies. The technology will be implemented throughout the health system, from the 401-bed hospital Bethesda Memorial Hospital to physician practices including family practice, internal medicine, cardiovascular surgery, neurology and orthopedics.

BHS contracted with Greenway in an effort to connect affiliated practices with Bethesda Memorial while streamlining clinical, financial and administrative workflows throughout the organization. Twelve providers began using PrimeSuite during the initial implementation, which took place in November, and another 550 providers have the option to implement the solution through an endorsement agreement with BHS.

BHS will also use Greenway's PrimeEnterprise to create an interoperable network, through which patient information can be shared between the BHS practices and Bethesda Memorial. With PrimeEnterprise, practice managers, physicians and other care providers can exchange patient information, from small billing issues to critical patient data. PrimeEnterprise will allow each of the practices to configure the enterprise system around  specific workflows and specialties while enabling BHS to consolidate individual practice billing operations through the PrimeEnterprise infrastructure.

Along with the workflow efficiencies expected through the use of PrimeSuite and PrimeEnterprise, BHS also plans to gain additional efficiencies through the deployment of PrimePatient. With PrimePatient, patients are able to request appointments online, complete registration and health history forms in advance, view lab results, interact directly with care providers, request prescription refills and manage their personal health records, all through a secure patient portal.

"With the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) offering financial incentives for the meaningful use of certified EHRs, coupled with the improvements they will bring to our clinical, financial and administrative workflows, we felt it was the right time to invest in an integrated EHR, practice management and interoperability solution," said Leslie Durham, CIO of the Bethesda Healthcare System. "Our goal is to create an integrated healthcare system throughout South Palm Beach County, where all physicians have access to the pertinent healthcare information that will enable them to better treat patients and improve the overall health of our community."

"When healthcare providers like Bethesda implement and meaningfully use health IT solutions within their organizations, we move closer to achieving a nationwide interoperable healthcare system that ultimately will transform and improve population health on a national and global level," said Tee Green, president of Greenway.