Phoebe Putney IT team puts rural health system on map

'All of the teams completely have to work together'
By Erin McCann
03:15 AM
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Phoebe Putney Team

Resources don't necessarily come all that freely for a rural health system like Phoebe Putney Health System, situated in southwest Georgia.

When you're talking about five hospitals and multiple clinics spread over a 90-mile radius, a system-wide EMR replacement is no easy task. There's a lot of travel involved. But the 85-member IT team at Phoebe Putney Health System made it happen.

"All of the teams completely have to work together," said Ryan Graham, team leader of ambulatory applications at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital.

Over the past two years, the IT staff has replaced all of their EMRs in both inpatient and outpatient environments, not to mention also completing a huge standardization project across the health system. This October, their efforts paid off, and the health system went live with its new MEDITECH electronic medical record platform.

Graham attributes much of the success they've had to CIO Jesse Diaz. With him, "It's not a micromanagement kind of thing," said Graham. "It's a go work directly with the users. Go work directly with the different departments, the providers."

Added Graham, "We're engaged with everything at the hospital, whether it's clinical, whether it's financial, whether it's operation."

It's been a lot of work over the past few years, as most health system IT departments have witnessed, but the culture at Phoebe Putney really makes it a place where people enjoy coming to work, added Graham, resulting in very little turnover within the IT department.

"Our culture has been really a lot of camaraderie," he said. It's an environment of "everybody show up; get your work done, but have fun while you do it."

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