Ashe Memorial Hospital Successfully Demonstrates Stage 1 Meaningful Use, Qualifies for Federal ARRA Stimulus Payment

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North Carolina hospital surpasses initial threshold for healthcare IT adoption using SaaS-based PatientKeeper CPOE solution

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PatientKeeper customer Ashe Memorial Hospital in Jefferson, North Carolina, has successfully demonstrated Stage 1 “Meaningful Use” of healthcare information technology (IT) to qualify for federal incentive payments offered under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

Ashe Memorial, which attested in September 2011 under the first year of the program, was among the first 12 percent of U.S. hospitals to attest to Stage 1 Meaningful Use. Additionally, Ashe Memorial was among the first six percent of Critical Access Hospitals nationally to attest.

The ARRA payment is predicated on Ashe Memorial’s use of certified electronic health record (EHR) technology, including PatientKeeper’s computerized physician order entry (CPOE), as prescribed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

Ashe Memorial is one of more than 70 hospitals that have selected PatientKeeper CPOE™ to improve patient care and comply with Meaningful Use criteria. Physicians and hospitals are embracing PatientKeeper CPOE because of the unique approach and design of the software, which overlays the existing hospital infrastructure and saves physicians time versus paper-based orders – making the system a win for physicians, hospitals and all key stakeholders.

Ashe Memorial went live with PatientKeeper’s Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) CPOE solution in February 2011, and began its 90-day Stage 1 attestation period in June. At attestation, the hospital’s adoption rate far surpassed the 30 percent threshold specified in the Stage 1 criteria for use of CPOE. Currently, Ashe Memorial’s CPOE adoption is well over 60 percent and would be sufficient to meet the anticipated Stage 2 criteria.

“PatientKeeper CPOE is the cornerstone of our Meaningful Use effort,” said R.D. Williams, CEO of Ashe Memorial. “It was critical for Ashe to have the ARRA incentives assist with payment for implementation of an electronic health record at our hospital. We are very pleased that, by leveraging PatientKeeper’s unique approach to CPOE and medication reconciliation, we have attained this milestone in 2011, as it maximizes our financial opportunity and contributes to our broader goals of advancing patient safety and the overall quality of care.”

According to Sara Houser, MSN, Ashe Memorial’s chief nursing officer, who heads up the hospital’s CPOE initiative, many factors contributed to the rapid achievement of Stage 1 Meaningful Use. “We had a strong implementation team consisting of internal and PatientKeeper staffers,” Houser said, “and PatientKeeper’s SaaS delivery model streamlined the implementation and operation of our system. Most importantly, the initiative supports our culture of patient-centered care, so the project was always treated as mission-critical, not peripheral.”

PatientKeeper CPOE enables hospitals to rapidly and cost-effectively deploy a computerized physician order entry system as an overlay to their current hospital information system. At Ashe Memorial, PatientKeeper is tightly integrated with the hospital’s MEDITECH Magic HIS. The application is embraced by physicians because it saves them time versus paper and does not require them to learn a new language to place orders. Furthermore, the system incorporates evidence-based medicine and drug alerting in a way that artfully supports the physician workflow and doesn’t create alert fatigue.

PatientKeeper CPOE is part of a suite of tightly integrated physician workflow applications that are being deployed to Ashe Memorial’s physicians. To date, Ashe has deployed the PatientKeeper Physician Portal™, which provides a comprehensive view of clinical data from any web browser, and PatientKeeper Mobile Clinical Results™, which lets doctors access clinical data from smartphones and iPads. The next phase of Ashe Memorial’s implementation will integrate PatientKeeper NoteWriter™ for electronic physician documentation, and PatientKeeper Medication Reconciliation™.

Ashe Memorial is utilizing PatientKeeper’s SaaS option, under which PatientKeeper securely hosts the hospital’s CPOE application. PatientKeeper’s SaaS solution enables rapid deployment, decreased client-side infrastructure requirements, and turnkey deployment for the IT staff.

“Ashe Memorial’s rapid physician adoption and attestation to Stage 1 meaningful use demonstrates the power of PatientKeeper’s physician-friendly CPOE system,” said PatientKeeper president and CEO Paul Brient. “We are happy to have contributed to Ashe Memorial’s success, and look forward to collaborating with them going forward to help the hospital meet its patient care and safety goals, and the government’s Stage 2 and 3 criteria.”

About Ashe Memorial
Established in 1941, Ashe Memorial Hospital is a not-for-profit hospital located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, in the northwestern corner of North Carolina. Ashe Memorial is a rural hospital that has a remarkably sophisticated level of care for a county population of just over 25,000. In 2007, Ashe Memorial became a Critical Access Hospital. The hospital is licensed for 25 acute care beds, and also operates an adjacent 60-bed nursing home.

About PatientKeeper
PatientKeeper® Inc., the leading provider of physician healthcare information systems, enables physicians and hospitals to focus on their patients, not technology. PatientKeeper provides highly intuitive software for physicians that streamlines workflow to improve productivity and patient care. PatientKeeper’s CPOE, physician documentation, electronic charge capture and other applications run on desktop and laptop computers and popular handheld devices and tablets. PatientKeeper’s software integrates with existing healthcare information systems to create the most effective solution for driving physician adoption of technology, meeting Meaningful Use, and transitioning to ICD-10. For more information about PatientKeeper, which is headquartered near Boston, Mass., visit or call 781-373-6100.


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