Georgia's Second-Largest Hospital Transitions to Computerized Provider Order Entry

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Medical Center of Central Georgia selected the HCI Group to assist in Cerner CPOE implementation.

The Medical Center of Central Georgia, the state’s second-largest hospital, tapped healthcare information technology consultancy the HCI Group to assist with implementing its computerized provider order entry project as part of its overall transition to electronic health records. The project takes MCCG, a 637-bed, full-service acute care hospital that serves 750,000 residents in central and south Georgia, from a paper-based order system to an electronic order system.

For the CPOE event at MCCG, the HCI Group analyzed the pharmacy workflow and order processes to understand operations unique to the facility and its staff. It then used that knowledge to develop a CPOE implementation plan, which included completely re-building the pharmacy catalog, to ensure a smooth and successful transition. Before going live, the HCI Group performed pre-optimization to prepare the system for provider use and provided on-site technical support throughout the go-live of the new technology.

“We were encouraged by recent advancements in technology surrounding EHR, and decided it was the right time to transition to CPOE,” said Patricia Bertram-Arnett, operations manager, department of clinical informatics, at MCCG. “Our top concern was finding the right consultant group that could bring the people with deep skillsets in both pharmacy operations and IT that MCCG needed. The HCI Group’s IT and vendor-specific knowledge was superb, setting the stage for a successful CPOE transition.”

The HCI Group provided a team of consultants, each experts in Cerner PharmNet and CPOE, on-site at MCCG for a significant portion of the 21-month project.

“The HCI Group thrives on identifying the right person, with the right skills, for our clients,” said Caron Bremer, regional vice president for the HCI Group and manager for the MCCG project. “We are continually growing our talent pool, and the skills and experience of those in that talent pool, so that we can respond to any healthcare IT challenge such as MCCG’s need for experts in both pharmacy and IT.”

MCCG, marking just more than 90 days since implementation, reports that physicians and other providers are now electronically entering 60 to 70 percent of medication orders. Bremer and Bertram-Arnett attribute that success to the HCI Group consultants and to the months of planning and preparation MCCG leaders and staff did leading up to the transition to CPOE.

“Implementing CPOE is a clinical-driven project and you must engage everyone, including physicians, as early in the process as possible,” said Bertram-Arnett.

Bertram-Arnett said that MCCG engaged its staff by developing a CPOE team and appointing a project manager to oversee its activities. The CPOE team’s first duty was to meet with MCCG’s chief medical informatics officer. The CPOE team and the HCI Group consultants then held a series of twice weekly sessions with providers to seek input on the transition to electronic order entry.

“Moving to CPOE is an important, but tremendous undertaking,” said Bertram-Arnett. “At MCCG, we found that investing our time up front developing a detailed project plan and engaging with staff from the beginning put us in a much better position for success.”

About the HCI Group
The HCI Group is a health IT company headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla. with activities across the U.S., U.K. and Middle East. It specializes in working with healthcare organizations to plan, implement and sustain new health information technologies including electronic health records. The HCI Group’s efficient, effective and innovative IT solutions help healthcare organizations improve the quality of their healthcare delivery and reduce costs. Learn more about the HCI Group by visiting http://www.thehcigroup.com.

About The Medical Center of Central Georgia
The Medical Center of Central Georgia, an entity of Central Georgia Health System, is a tertiary regional teaching medical center, a designated Level I Trauma Center, a perinatal center, and is one of 42 twice-designated Magnet® hospitals for nursing excellence nationwide. MCCG serves a primary and secondary service area of 30 counties and nearly 750,000 persons in central and south Georgia. It has more than 4,600 employees and a medical staff of more than 590 physicians. As the second-largest hospital in Georgia, MCCG is licensed for 637 beds including medical-surgical, obstetric, pediatric, psychiatric and specialized individual intensive care units for neurology, pediatric, neonatal, surgical trauma, cardiac and cardiac surgery. The Emergency Center, with helipad capability and three urgent care centers, treats more than 120,000 visitors per year. MCCG provides a broad range of community-based, outpatient diagnostic, primary care, extensive home health and hospice care and comprehensive rehabilitation services. MCCG is the primary teaching hospital for Mercer University School of Medicine, providing residency and fellowship programs for more than 100 residents and fellows, and is affiliated with multiple universities as a clinical education site. Visit http://www.MCCG.org for more information.

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