Parkview Medical Center Decommissions Legacy EHRs, Improves Access to Critical Patient Data with InterSystems HealthShare
Parkview Medical Center (Parkview), a 350-bed community hospital in Pueblo, Colorado, is finding new synergies in the acquisition of physician practices, and new challenges in managing the additional electronic health records and data they bring with them. After purchasing 30 physician practices, Parkview is now the owner of eight additional electronic health records (EHRs). None of them is the same as the Meditech EHR used in the hospital. Parkview needs the information from these acquired EHRs, but not the cost of keeping and maintaining them, or training clinicians to use them.
“I really want to have all of that data available for whomever is taking care of the patient,” says Parkview Director of IT, Jim Hruby. “You don’t want to miss anything. If they’re allergic to penicillin and somehow that gets wiped off the health record or is only available in a static PDF file, and the patient is harmed, that’s the worst thing that could ever happen.”
With about 100,000 patient records spread out over the eight EHRs, Parkview began its search for a clinical data archiving solution that would consolidate the data plus make it easily accessible at the point of care.
A Strategic Solution Bridging Past and Future
Parkview issued a request for quote for a clinical data archiving solution, and seven vendors made the first cut, including InterSystems. “When picking a vendor, we’re really looking for a partner,” Hruby says. “I want a company that will stand beside me and work with me, and really try to figure out what is the best solution for the best price. There are so many suppliers out there that only care about their cash flow. That’s not my experience with InterSystems.”
InterSystems helped to guide Parkview to a plan that would support not only the immediate need for archiving, but its strategic goals as well. Parkview’s clinical population has a high prevalence of diabetes, for example. The organization wanted assurance that the chosen solution could pull out the individual data elements associated with the diagnosis from its legacy systems. Parkview needed that data for analytics and population health management processes supporting value-based care.
“You could just do a big PDF of all this legacy data — you know it’s not going to change,” Hruby says. “But with HealthShare, you get discrete data recovery. You can do really good analytics, something you couldn’t do with a solution that just screen-scrapes the legacy data.”
Warning: Duplications Ahead
With Parkview’s first acquired EHR to retire, a urology system, duplicate patient records were a minor concern. But with each additional EHR, the likelihood of creating duplicate records for a patient increases, making it more difficult to see a single comprehensive picture of their health status. Parkview decided to include HealthShare Patient Index, an enterprise master patient index solution, as part of the EHR decommissioning process. “InterSystems didn’t force us to go in this direction,” says Hruby, “but they led us and explained why we needed to consider the duplication issue. HealthShare Patient Index flags duplicates and potential duplicates up front, and this approach really helped us succeed.”
Cost Savings and Efficiency Increases
Parkview receives about 80% of its payments from Medicare, Medicaid, and payers for indigent patients. “It’s an extremely tough payer mix,” notes Hruby. For Parkview, the return on investment calculation for InterSystems HealthShare was simple. With eight EHRs in the queue for decommissioning, Parkview expects that the elimination of annual maintenance fees it pays for each one will easily cover the cost of its investment in InterSystems technology. Plus, as each EHR is decommissioned, the organization realizes other positive impacts.
- Parkview can now use funds that went for updating and patching legacy servers, and associated payroll, for improvements elsewhere.
- It has increased efficiency while eliminating costs for training clinicians on multiple legacy EHRs. All legacy information can be accessed through the EHR Parkview clinicians already know and use.
- Parkview can quickly archive and repurpose data from newly acquired practices and retire the IT costs associated with them.
“HealthShare was not the lowest-cost option for us,” says Hruby. “But with the capabilities it has for being a single source of complete patient data, analytics, and connecting providers and patients, it was the highest value option.”