A 276-bed, state-funded “safety net” hospital with over 70 percent Medicare/Medicaid payer mixing the center of the Pacific doesn't exactly scream “perfect environment” to possess a totally adopted and integrated electronic health record system.
“But we asked the question, ‘Why not us?’” said Money Atwal, who was actually hired in 2007 because the Chief Information Officer for the East Hawaii Region of the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation and have become the Chief Treasurer subsequently that very same year.
Atwal, who was previously at a way larger facility Queens’s center on Oahu, began the seemingly insurmountable challenge of being the primary hospital to determine an EHR in Hawaii’s state hospital system. He was appointed with the backing of the East Hawaii Regional Board and a modest budget of around $5 million.
Assembling the Team
Hiring a military of EMR consultants wasn't within the budget. Out of the 1,100 employees at Hilo center (HMC), Atwal had to seek out exceptionally skilled, courageous and optimistic EHR champions to make the Health Connect team. Since the interior team didn't have any prior EHR project management or implementation experience, he supplemented the Health Connect team with just a couple of external resources.
“Not having a sizeable allow outside consultants actually worked in our favor,” said Atwal. “We utilized our in-house data system personnel and selected highly skilled nurses and department managers who were the foremost intimate their units’ and departments’ operations. This was the inspiration of our Health Connect team. They were challenged to create a system that was user-friendly and provided a benefit to patient care and monetary management.”
“We had to settle on champions who believed within the project and will envision that the overhaul of the hospital would cause better patient outcomes for the community and healthier finances for the hospital,” added Atwal. “Many members of our core team had never used an electronic medical history, including building a system before. I knew I used to be asking tons of my team, but I trusted them to finish this project.”
The limited budget also forced Atwal and therefore the team to prioritize goals within the project.