Rochelle Community Hospital is a 300-employee, critical access hospital located in rural Illinois that provides essential health and wellness services to the local community. In order to meet their vision of providing high-quality, community-based health care, Rochelle’s leadership sets periodic strategic initiatives to ensure the hospital’s constant improvement and growth. In 2021, one initiative focused on evaluating their existing technological capabilities and deliberating on whether they were maximizing technology to its fullest potential.

At the time, Rochelle Community Hospital was working with two different Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems: Meditech was their inpatient solution while Athena was their solution in their ambulatory location. Rochelle saw a gap in the quality of patient record sharing because neither Meditech nor Athena’s systems could easily share information into and out of their locations with other providers, or between each other. Being on two different systems within their organization and unable to share patient information made their workflows difficult to navigate, so they knew they had to make a change to take their operation to the next level.

Rochelle’s leadership took advantage of the opportunity to review their position, as Meditech was pushing out a mandatory upgrade that needed to be tended to if they wanted to stay on their software. Rochelle’s leadership had to decide how they would invest capital: either upgrading their Meditech solution to stick with something familiar or switching to a different software that would better meet their needs.

Challenge

CHALLENGE

With the goal of providing the best possible system to benefit patient care, Rochelle researched Epic as their single replacement option for their existing EHR solutions. They knew Epic was considered a gold standard for EHR who had experience in clinical informatics, which meant the system could run in clinics as well as in hospital locations – exactly what Rochelle needed. Additionally, Epic was appealing because the system provided Rochelle with a way to share medical information easily outside of their organization, which would positively impact their community. Rochelle also wanted to give patients a usable way to see their own records which would give patients more access to manage their own care.

However, Rochelle encountered a few significant obstacles when deciding to pursue adopting Epic’s EHR system. First, being a small, critical access hospital with limited resources, they found themselves unable to obtain Epic on their own, unlike larger hospital systems. Second, committing to a large investment to transition to a single EHR system brought not only advantages but also some far-reaching implications. It was critical that Rochelle selected the right system for the right price and that the selection aligned their business and clinical leaders around a singular solution.

This posed a dual challenge: how could Rochelle bring Epic to their small-sized hospital system and how could they get buy-in from all parts of their organization to invest in moving away from their existing technology system?

Solution

SOLUTION

Rochelle’s leadership discovered that Pointcore had a solution that was designed for hospitals like theirs through Epic’s Community Connect model. As an Epic Connect Accredited site, Pointcore can host clients on their instance of Epic, and in doing so, can extend the benefits of Epic to smaller hospitals who otherwise wouldn’t be able to obtain the system on their own.

Rochelle’s leadership brought together their administrative team, IT department, medical staff and select managers to discuss Pointcore’s solution and align on a potential course of action. The Pointcore team provided consultation through a series of meetings, including hands-on demonstrations, to determine if the Pointcore model would be a viable solution for Rochelle’s needs. With these meetings, Rochelle wanted to ensure that Pointcore could implement Epic, integrate other needed systems they used and train their team on Epic once implemented, as there was going to be significant change for end users within their organization. Rochelle quickly saw that Pointcore’s solution of hosting Epic would fully meet their needs.

Once alignment was reached on all levels from both a clinical standpoint and a business/financial standpoint, Rochelle entered a partnership with Pointcore to host Epic at their hospital system at both their inpatient and ambulatory locations.

Results

RESULTS

  • Epic was fully integrated into Rochelle’s system, across their inpatient and ambulatory locations with the assistance of Pointcore. Rochelle received expert guidance from Pointcore throughout the implementation process as well as ample staff training from Pointcore’s IT experts.
  • Communication within Rochelle was improved, which made for more efficient workflows for staff and easy information sharing between departments and locations.
  • Risk management improved as medical information sharing became easy and attainable for outside providers. Doctor’s offices within their community could now benefit from knowing what patients did between provider visits.
  • Patient engagement was increased as patients could now access their own medical information using Epic MyChart.
  • Patients showed a greater satisfaction when interacting with Rochelle, as complaints drastically decreased because of the improved workflow efficiency, strengthened communication and ability to share information. Patients received care and test results in a timely manner and now had the opportunity to be actively involved with their own care.
  • Employee recruitment was improved once Epic was implemented, as it gave Rochelle an advantage when looking for quality talent to hire at a critical access hospital. Rochelle found that 90-95% of the clinical staff they interviewed either trained on or had experience using Epic.

After Epic was implemented and staff navigated the learning curve of a new system, Rochelle has experienced happier employees and patients. Both parties have embraced the updated technology, with Rochelle already looking towards the future with the help of Pointcore. “Epic consistently upgrades its software offerings to improve the user experience. As new options become available that we are interested in, Pointcore integrates those models into our current system to ensure our needs are constantly being met,” says Rochelle CEO, Karen Tracy.

Karen and the Rochelle team are also pleased with Pointcore’s service beyond their Epic hosting capabilities. “Pointcore is an extension of OSF HealthCare, which means they live in the healthcare world just like we do and have similar principles. They truly understand the challenges we face each day, which makes them a trustworthy and reliable partner. In addition to implementing Epic, Pointcore actively supports us in ongoing improvement efforts by providing us with dedicated help when problems arise that need attention. Their expert solutions enhance the value we deliver to our company, and more importantly, to our patients.”

ABOUT POINTCORE

Pointcore is an innovative healthcare services company who aims to transform health care in the communities we serve. Pointcore works with organizations to determine their areas of need, then uses our unique healthcare expertise to develop a custom solution for each operation. We deliver valuable, actionable insights that can inform the adoption of healthcare digital tools and create a digital plan for the future.

Contact us to connect with a Pointcore representative to talk about how we can help transform care delivery to bring the best care possible to patients.

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