Fort Memorial: Outsourcing for IT excellence

Vendor partnership helps free up valuable staff resources
By Jack McCarthy
10:58 PM
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Fort Memorial Hospital

Fort Memorial Hospital, in Fort Atkinson, Wis., is achieving efficiencies and improvements in its IT development by looking to an IT outsource leader. The hospital uses the services of Cerner Corp., a global supplier of health information technology.

For the small Fort Memorial Hospital, the arrangement gives it resources it might not otherwise have as it tries to standardize and move ahead with new programs and Meaning Use adoption of Electronic Health Records, said LaBebe Nickell, senior director of IT at the hospital.

"We are a full Cerner shop, and we're using Cerner electronic medical records in all our 15 clinics, our 72 hospital beds," said Nickell, who is also affiliated with Cerner. "We also provide what we call Healthe Registries, a solution that integrates our EMR data with third-party data and data from other EMR vendors so we can understand our patients in a more meaningful way."

Nickell said that, at Stage 2, Year 2 for meaningful use adoption, plans are for the IT staff to move ahead with continued tech streamlining and standardization. The Cerner connection has allowed the IT staff to save making many different tech systems interoperate.

"Cerner standardization has given us a leg up," she said.  

With its roadmap in place the IT department on supporting a population health management and patient engagement initiative for possible patient population in the communities in the region.

"We want to engage with them and keep them out of the hospital through prevention," Nickell said.

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