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KershawHealth moving to software reporting systems

Posted: July 29, 2011 4:26 p.m.
Updated: August 1, 2011 5:00 a.m.

To help elevate the quality of its reporting and even patient safety, KershawHealth received the go-ahead July 25 from its board of trustees to purchase nearly $500,000 of software. The unanimous vote allows hospital administrators to work with three vendors -- Midas, Medisolv and Iatrics -- to transition existing paper reporting to automated systems.

KershawHealth Vice President and COO/CFO Mike Bunch said those processes include quality reporting, case management, physician credentialing, variance reporting, department reporting and work lists, patient safety, clinical decision support and physician summary reports.

Bunch said the health care system tried to find one vendor to do it all.

“After significant due diligence work over the past year by numerous KershawHealth departments, the conclusion was that KershawHealth needs a multi-vendor approach given no single company has the full array of products to compliment our core system, Meditech,” Bunch said. “This project will move numerous manual and paper processes to a more automated environment, thus making processes more efficient and more timely.”

Bunch said existing infection control software will be transitioned to the new package, and that the move should assist KershawHealth where insurance reimbursements are concerned.

“As hospital reimbursements are increasingly tied to quality metrics, this project will enable us to have the infrastructure to report on and manage all the various components of quality and other important, related issues,” he said.

As chair of the board’s quality committee, Dr. Marguerite Carlton said where KershawHealth has been paper driven, it now needs to be quality driven.

“It’s just essential for the hospital to have this,” Carlton said.

In response to a question from Trustee Dr. Tallulah Holmstrom, Bunch said the integration of the new software systems should greatly enhance the availability of data to physicians.

“It can even be customized if you want. It will really push us ahead in that respect,” Bunch said.

He said Midas will supply care management software already used at more than 1,400 hospitals across the country. In addition, Midas will supply Seeker, a paperless medical staff management program, and Statit, which also helps manage physician performance.

Medisolv will supply two pieces of software called RAPID and IndiGo. RAPID handles reporting analysis, assisting administrators with decision-making, while IndiGo will assist with quality measurement reporting.

Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer Gloria Keeffe said Iatric’s SmartBoard for nursing will “make it easier for nurses and physicians to see a summary” with vital signs and other patient data on a single screen.

“These vendors have worked with Meditech, so we don’t anticipate any hiccups with the interface,” Bunch said. “If there are factors not currently tracked, we can add them, but we may have to keep some as is (on paper).”

Bunch said Medisolv’s RAPID and IndiGo will help generate data from each department. He said the data can be very specific and that “scorecards” can be created on an array of indicators.

“They will allow us to drill into individual departments more succinctly and tie in quality metrics from throughout the departments,” Bunch said.

At one point, he reported, the project was thought to cost approximately $800,000.

“But the group got together and really got it down to the best investment,” he said.

Bunch and Trustee George Corbin, the board’s finance committee chair, also reported June was another good month for the health care system.

Corbin reported Kershaw Health generated operating income of $231,000 in June compared to a budgeted loss of $248,000. Total net income was $363,000 compared to a budgeted loss of $132,000. Fiscal Year 2011 to date, operating income stands at $1.7 million compared to a budget of only $602,000. Fiscal year to date net income is $2.7 million compared to a budget of $1.7 million. Compared to June 2010, operating income increased $502,000 for the month and $505,000 year to date.

Bunch said much of the month’s success can be attributed to higher patient volumes. Inpatient admissions were 4 percent over budget, Elgin Outpatient Center volumes were 10 percent over budget, home health visits 3 percent over budget and oncology visits were 2 percent over budget. Surgeries, however, were 12 percent below budget, something Bunch attributed once again to lower otolaryngology (ENT) surgeries. He said births were 22 percent under budget, ED visits 8 percent below budget, urgent care volumes 1 percent under budget and hospice days 42 percent below budget

“On balance, admissions really helped,” Bunch said, “but our government payer mix continued to increase. As we look at the month in total, we remain cautious.”

Bunch said the hospital continues to see a decrease in patients choosing to undergo elective surgeries.

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