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Alabama Health System Begins Cerner EHR Implementation

Alabama-based Escambia County Healthcare Authority will transition to a Cerner EHR implementation to boost care coordination.

Escambia County Healthcare Authority is launching a Cerner EHR implementation.

Source: Thinkstock

By Kate Monica

- Escambia County Healthcare Authority in Alabama is taking steps to launch a new Cerner EHR implementation across its facilities as part of an effort to streamline patient health data access and exchange across care settings.

ECHA will switch its two hospitals and four clinics to Cerner Millenium. The health system includes D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital and Atmore Community Hospital in Atmore, Alabama.

“After understanding the complications that come with disjointed EHR environments, the D.W. McMillan and Atmore teams, along with our board members, wanted to make a long-term decision for the Healthcare Authority system with a single EHR approach,” said ECHA Board Member Nancy Lowery.

“We are excited to collaborate with Cerner in this step toward further unifying our hospital systems to support the health care needs of our patients,” Lowery continued.

The implementation marks the first effort to enable ECHA’s hospitals and health systems to operate using a single, unified EHR system to give patients and providers access to a single, longitudinal record of a patient’s complete health history and financial information.

ECHA is utilizing Cerner’s CommunityWorksSM deployment model. Cerner CommunityWorks is designed to meet the unique needs of community, critical access, and specialty hospitals. The deployment model is based on years of industry and client-recommended best practices and can help smaller hospitals address their specific financial and clinical challenges.

“Connecting these two hospitals and their respective clinics through our CommunityWorks delivery model will be a major step forward for the health system,” said Cerner CommunityWorks President Mitchell Clark.

“This change will revolutionize the way ECHA manages patient care, stores and accesses health records,” Clark continued. “We have a shared strategic vision with ECHA that’s based around a dedication to interoperability and improved health care.”

The health system will also launch Cerner’s Revenue Cycle Management system to optimize claims and billing processes for administrative personnel across locations. ECHA will integrate Cerner’s registration, scheduling, patient accounting, practice management solutions, and transaction services into its EHR system.

Cerner will also help ECHA streamline billing processes and other financial services for staff and patients while also mitigating costs to collect.

The Escambia County Alabama Healthcare Authority Board consists of local county, city, and community leaders appointed by the Escambia County, Alabama County Commission.

Members of the board serve as volunteers and are responsible for governing all health systems within Escambia County.

Locations governed by the board include D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital, Atmore Community Hospital, D.W. McMillan EMS, Atmore Community Home Care, Atmore Med Plus, ACH Family Physicians, ACH Primary Care, Atmore Therapy Services, D.W. McMillan Home Medical Equipment, D.W. McMillan Home Health, and the Flomaton Medical Center.

Kaleida Health in Western New York also launched a Cerner EHR implementation project this month.

The health system launched a $125 million EHR implementation project expected to go live by mid-2020. Kaleida Health has so far launched upgrades to streamline the way physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurses enter and store patient data.

“We will accurately collect data once, store it with minimal redundancy, and ensure widespread access to caregivers in full compliance with privacy and security regulations,” said Kaleida Health CMO David Hughes, MD in a press release.

Kaleida is a not-for-profit health system serving eight counties.

“Our goal is to enhance the patient experience and quality of care we deliver,” said Hughes. “Providers will be spending much less time in front of a screen so they can spend more time face-to-face with their patients.”

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