Health System Aims to Streamline Communications with Affiliated Physicians
ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley recently announced that it will upgrade its existing electronic health record (EHR) technology systems as part of its focus on enhancing healthcare quality and safety for the communities it serves in upstate New York. Headquartered in Kingston, N.Y., the three-hospital system plans to expand its relationship with McKesson by implementing Horizon Clinicals® solutions for use by approximately 750 caregivers system-wide.
HealthAlliance already uses McKesson’s medical imaging, pharmacy and automation technology as well as its pharmacy distribution services. The new clinical upgrade should help position the health system to qualify for HITECH incentives under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
“Technology that enables better care team communication and coordination is essential to care delivery transformation and providing a safer, high-quality patient experience,” said John Finch, chief information officer, HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley. “Starting with the radiology and pharmacy areas, McKesson has proven that its solutions can help us improve quality and efficiency. We are eager to build on that success as we provide new systems for physicians, nurses, pharmacists and the larger clinical team.”
HealthAlliance is turning to McKesson’s Web-based portal to provide its care teams with increased – and secure – access to patient data. Whether physicians are inside the hospital, at the office or at home, they will be able to log on to the system and review patient information. As a result, they will be better equipped to make informed decisions for their patients – even after-hours.
With the technology upgrade, all clinicians will have electronic access to information about patients’ active health problems, past diagnoses, medication history and known or reported allergies. Nurses will document care in the EHR at the bedside, providing immediate updates to other clinicians. A new electronic tracking board also will provide teams with at-a-glance information on patient status, including clinical, admission/discharge/transfer (ADT), environmental services and more. It displays that information against hospital floor plans on large, electronic whiteboards.
In addition, the health system plans to implement new solutions to advance patient safety. Bar-code scanning technology will enable nurses to electronically verify the “five rights” of medication safety at the bedside – right patient, right drug, right dose, right time and right route. Before giving a medication, nurses will use a handheld device to scan their own employee ID, the medication and the patient’s wristband. The device will notify the nurse if one of the five rights isn’t met, prompting a check of the patient’s chart and the doctor’s order.
Plans also call for HealthAlliance physicians to deploy a computerized physician order entry system (CPOE). CPOE enables physician orders – whether for medications, lab tests, or imaging studies – to be submitted electronically, more effectively and efficiently than with a paper-based system.
“This latest clinical systems upgrade should help HealthAlliance to better align with physicians and further improve performance – clinically, financially and operationally,” said Jeremy Chandler, president, Clinical Solutions, McKesson Provider Technologies. “We are honored to have the opportunity to continue to provide value to HealthAlliance and to expand the relationship between our two organizations.”
About HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley®
HealthAlliance of the Hudson Valley is the alignment of The Kingston Hospital, Benedictine Hospital, Margaretville Hospital, Mountainside Residential Care Center and Woodland Pond. The goal of HealthAlliance is to strengthen the quality of care, bring forward enhanced technology and provide compassionate care to serve the present and future healthcare needs in the Hudson Valley.
McKesson Corporation, currently ranked 14th on the FORTUNE 500, is a healthcare services and information technology company dedicated to helping its customers deliver high-quality healthcare by reducing costs, streamlining processes, and improving the quality and safety of patient care. Over the course of its 177-year history, McKesson has grown by providing pharmaceutical and medical-surgical supply management across the spectrum of care; healthcare information technology for hospitals, physicians, homecare and payors; hospital and retail pharmacy automation; and services for manufacturers and payors designed to improve outcomes for patients. For more information, visit http://www.mckesson.com.
Yancey Casey, 404-338-2468
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