Mississippi faces a growing diabetes crisis, ranking second among all states nationwide in disease prevalence with more than 373,000 adults in the state living with some form of diabetes.
As part of its mission to become the first critical access hospital in Mississippi to demonstrate meaningful use of electronic health record (EHR) technology, North Sunflower Medical Center plans to deploy a suite of McKesson information technology solutions. The new systems will replace paper-based records and disparate technologies and address duplicate data entry challenges with communications capabilities designed to automate outdated manual processes and better coordinate care.
“These two systems offer a winning combination for North Sunflower Medical Center and community healthcare providers across the country”
The deployment includes McKesson’s Paragon® health information system (HIS) , Practice Partner® EHR solution and RelayHealth claims and eligibility processing solutions, as well as workforce management to enable efficient staff scheduling. The rural medical center, which serves the Mississippi Delta region, expects to use this technology to dramatically simplify clinical and business operations while improving preventative care and patient safety.
With the new systems, North Sunflower’s 20 physicians, 24 mid-level practitioners, and authorized medical billing and support staff will have secure, “anywhere, anytime” access to complete patient records at their fingertips. Exam room notes in physician practices will update the patient’s chart automatically. Patients will be able to view their electronic health record, request prescription refills, pre-register, track treatments and communicate with their physicians via a secure Internet connection.
The technology is also intended to streamline workflows for North Sunflower’s medical teams and provide seamless integration across the medical center. McKesson’s information technology (IT) will play an important role at North Sunflower’s 25-bed hospital and community clinic, where practitioners treat a combined 2,600 patients per month, as well as its new 30,000 square foot wellness center. Doctors and nutritionists at the new facility will emphasize proactive and preventative care for the chronically ill.
“This strategic initiative with McKesson enables us to embark on a whole new level of big-hospital healthcare in one of the most economically challenged communities in the country,” said Joanie Perkins, director of network development for North Sunflower Medical Center. “Our new systems are designed to provide a safety net under every nurse, physician, pharmacist and patient, with unprecedented information access and sharing capabilities that will support high-quality, safe healthcare.”
The technology will allow clinicians to more easily share the collective results from diabetes and cardiovascular patient studies and reports with people who live in communities throughout Sunflower County. The medical center believes that patients will be more engaged in improving their own health once they see statistics that show the impact exercise and healthy diets can have on their lives.
“We’re taking advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime stimulus opportunity to invest in our future and the future of our community with the best healthcare IT solutions available today,” Perkins said. “We are determined to remain a healthcare leader in Mississippi and, with McKesson’s IT expertise, we believe we can set the standard for quality of care.”
“These two systems offer a winning combination for North Sunflower Medical Center and community healthcare providers across the country,” said Jim Pesce, president, Paragon, McKesson Provider Technologies. “Anywhere, anytime access to electronic health records and comprehensive chronic care data opens up a new world of healthcare productivity and connectivity, as well as life-changing care for the people of Sunflower County.”