Best Hospital IT 2016: Analytics is top of mind as Phoebe Putney Memorial sets a goal of Stage 7 status

The Georgia hospital is looking to build on the foundation laid with a new Meditech EMR.
07:48 AM
Best Hospital IT 2016:  Phoebe Putney Memorial

Best Hospital IT 2016: #2 Large Hospital
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, Georgia
IT Staff: 58
Overall Score: 69.88%

Vice President and CIO Jesse Diaz has his sights set on the insights he will soon be getting from a new data analytics solution. But he knows the payoff is still over a year away.

With his team finishing up the vendor selection process in October, he is starting to plan the 10 to 12 month implementation process he expects to start in January. Diaz has no doubt the analytics project will help the organization improve quality of care.

“We hope to be able to use that data to look at our core measures and see where we’re doing well and where we’re not, he said. “If we’re not, where are the parts and pieces for making that happen?”

Without analytics, the hospital has not been able to drill down into cause and effect of a number metrics that could guide providers improve care.

“We really don’t have a good way to get data out of a data mine right now through our systems,” he said. It’s a tool that will be used by both the clinical side and the finance side, he noted.

Patience is a necessary virtue when charting a longterm health system strategy.

Phoebe Putney rolled out a Meditech EMR about a year ago. “Probably our biggest technology challenge is what we’ve been doing in the last year: standardize, optimize and stabilize the system prior to go live,” he said.

The challenge was considerable: that project began with four facilities running on different EMRs. The organization was not only rolling out an EMR, it was standardizing everything along the way. It was the most challenging project the 80-member IT department has taken on. “A total forklift,” Diaz said, taking two years. 

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Diaz views analytics as the obvious next step. “Now that we’ve been able to install an EMR, the data now for us is really available,” he said. “It’s just a matter of going out and having the right tools to mine it.”

Phoebe Putney will employ real-time dashboards to track performance in several clinical areas. Clinicians will be able to use the monitors to check on core measures. The same applies to the financial side.

“If we can provide better care at a better price,” Diaz said, “that’s where we want to be.”

“We are now very satisfied with our Meditech implementation,” he said. “Our end users are getting very accustomed to it. Our physicians have become relatively satisfied with its use and how we’ve developed it toward them.”

Looking back at the progress Phoebe Putney has made, Diaz credits the Meaningful Use Program for the transformation that took place in healthcare. Prior to meaningful use only 1 percent of hospitals had EMRs, he noted.

“It was very challenging,” Diaz recalled. “All the deadlines we had to meet meaningful use in order not to get penalized. It was probably the most trying, most challenging time in healthcare IT – probably over the last 20 years.”

“But we have a great team here,” he added. “Nothing was ever in doubt that we’d meet our deadlines, and we did.”

As the organization, which is at Stage 6 of the HIMSS Analytics EMRAM model, brings in new technology, Diaz and his team have set their sights on achieving Stage 7 status, the highest on the ladder.

“That’s what the EMR Adoption Model to me means,” he said. “You keep improving how you do things. You keep improving how you use this tool, how you best affect care.”

To Diaz, the payoff is clear. “The better we make the EHR, the better we use it – it’s like any other tool – the better it will be, the better the results will be. “


Workplace culture was one of 87 questions senior executives (CIO, CMIOs, etc.), directors of IT, clinical and systems analysts, technicians, help desk staff and others responded to on our survey.

Overall Ranking

Question Very dissatisfied or Disagree completely Dissatisfied or Disagree Neutral Satisfied or Agree Very satisfied or Agree completely
Question Very dissatisfied or Disagree completely Dissatisfied or Disagree Neutral Satisfied or Agree Very satisfied or Agree completely
How satisfied you are working for the IT department at this organization? 3.5% 0.0% 0.0% 17.5% 78.9%
How satisfied are you with your job and elements of your day-to-day work? 1.8% 0.0% 0.0% 17.5% 80.7%
How satisfied are you with your immediate work unit, team or IT department group? 1.8% 0.0% 1.8% 17.5% 78.9%
How satisfied are you with your direct supervisor, manager or group head, the person you report to directly? 5.4% 0.0% 3.6% 17.9% 73.2%
How satisfied are you with the senior management and leadership of your organization? 1.8% 0.0% 3.6% 37.5% 57.1%
How satisfied are you with the workplace culture in this organization? 1.8% 0.0% 3.6% 37.5% 57.1%
How satisfied are you with training, professional development and advancement in this organization? 3.6% 1.8% 12.7% 30.9% 50.9%
How satisfied are you with compensation, benefits and employee recognition at this organization? 1.8% 3.6% 10.9% 43.6% 40.0%
I plan to continue my career with this organization. 0.0% 0.0% 9.1% 21.8% 69.1%
I would recommend employment here to a friend. 0.0% 0.0% 9.1% 23.6% 67.3%