"Keeping up with the pace of projects, and then optimization," said Vaillancourt. "It’s one thing to complete a project. It's much harder to ensure whatever technology in place is being used to its fullest. The Christ Hospital is in the middle of bringing 150 physicians onto an Epic EHR, with a batch going live every other week."
As a 25-bed critical access hospital, Chadron is continually challenged to do more with less, said Turman. "Putting in an EHR in six months (as Chadron did) is resource-intensive," she said. Going live over the July 4 weekend presented even more of challenge. But with the EHR (Keane) up and running, Chadron plans to attest during the first quarter of 2012.
Implementation of CPOE continues to be the project that has much of Ganguly’s attention. There is a pilot group of about 50 physicians on board now, representing about 8 percent to 10 percent of all orders being entered electronically. These physicians were friendly to the concept, and a good way to introduce CPOE throughout the CentraState system, said Ganguly.
Transitioning from an in-house model to a managed services outsourced data center stood out as one of the toughest projects for Thomas – all this while also managing meaningful use Stage 1. The idea was to make it all seamless, she said. "You have to engage in a different way. There were a lot of moving parts." On the meaningful use front, Main Line plans to attest in February 2012 for Stage 1. It is currently finishing the quality reporting for October, November and December.
"We’re trying to integrate physician ambulatory information with hospital data," said Davis. The goal is to be able to share patient information, he added, "to produce a one-stop shopping place for information on the patient. It's a project with multiple phases, with a plan to link with various hospital systems, such as telemetry."
The biggest challenge, said Shelkin, was opening a new hospital. “We still had to keep things going with the same resources,” he said. "On the technology front, we had to stabilize the base and move into the future at the same time. Investments had not been made at the same pace at which technology was accelerating. So we’re trying to catch up." He said Presbyterian, with eight hospitals and 1,300 beds, is also deliberating whether to stick with traditional workstations or go to virtual ones. Shelkin was poised to make a move of his own after the CHIME fall forum, leaving Presbyterian to form his own consulting business – Shelkin Consultants.