Best Hospital IT 2016: Henry County Medical Center's small shop nails big projects

With just 10 IT professionals, Henry County is undertaking a major EHR upgrade and work on MU3 while keeping up with mobile devices, and getting rid of paper.
07:33 AM
Best Hospital IT 2016: Henry County

Best Hospital IT 2016: #3 Small Hospital
Henry County Medical Center, Tennessee
IT Staff: 10
Overall Score: 71.64%

Besides working on upgrades to several systems, moving certain functions to the cloud and converting others to hosted solutions, IT Director Pam Ridley is focusing on a major upgrade to the McKesson EHR, and doing the work required for Meaningful Use Stage 3.

And, yes, she said that her IT team is having fun banding together and mastering all of those projects.

“MACRA’s kind of taken over MU3,” she said, “but for the hospital side of things, it’s still meaningful use, and you still have to meet that, or we’re going to be dinged at some point.”

Ridley is also keenly aware that an upgrade to the medical center’s McKesson Paragon EHR is not far behind.

Having done away with just about every shred of paper, the medical center recently rolled out a cardiology system that enables physicians to view and interpret EKG test results online.

“We’ve implemented a lot of things for our providers to try to get them more efficient,” she said. “Because they lost time, no doubt, going to an electronic system because it takes more time. No matter how proficient you get, it still takes more time.”

And while it may be tempting to think of Henry County’s IT team as small, the impact is undeniable.

“Even with technology in place for doctors to access their lab results, they still look to IT to provide it,” she noted. “We really try to direct them to the system. Some get it now, and they’re fine with it, while some just say, ‘I want my labs; give me my labs.’ “

Another big change, she’s observed is the increasing amount of data the organization stores to comply with HIPAA rules and other regulations.

Also increasing is the number of devices providers use compared with five years ago.

“We have a lot of people who are getting their emails, their Outlook, their calendars to their smart phone,” Ridley said. “So we’re dealing more and more with smartphones and that brings its own challenges when you start adding that in.”


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“We do try to lock those down well. It is a challenge,” she said. “It opens up a lot of other issues.”

Next up: An upgrade to the hospital’s McKesson EHR. It is slated for the start of 2017. The medical center is also installing McKesson anesthesia care. The anesthesia providers used to be contracted, and now they are being brought in-house.

“So now we have to get a system for them,” Ridley said. “So that’s at the top of our list right now. That goes live in January.”

The new system will collect data from vital signs and automatically flow it into the system, documenting it all electronically.

“So that will be another area where we will not have paper,” Ridley said.

Indeed, eliminating paper, keeping pace with mobile devices, upgrading the EHR, and equipping clinicians to better care for patients are the initiatives Henry County’s IT teams have been pulling together to achieve.

 

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? 11.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 88.9%
How satisfied are you with your job and elements of your day-to-day work? 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 22.2% 77.8%
How satisfied are you with your immediate work unit, team or IT department group? 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 22.2% 77.8%
How satisfied are you with your direct supervisor, manager or group head, the person you report to directly? 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 33.3% 66.7%
How satisfied are you with the senior management and leadership of your organization? 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 55.6% 44.4%
How satisfied are you with the workplace culture in this organization? 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 33.3% 66.7%
How satisfied are you with training, professional development and advancement in this organization? 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 44.4% 55.6%
How satisfied are you with compensation, benefits and employee recognition at this organization? 0.0% 0.0% 33.3% 22.2% 44.4%
I plan to continue my career with this organization. 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 33.3% 66.7%
I would recommend employment here to a friend. 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 44.4% 55.6%