TRHS Converting to a New Electronic Health Record System
Tuesday, May 29th, 2018
After much preparation, Tift Regional Health System will switch to the new Cerner Millennium electronic health record system on June 1. This new system will enhance the patient experience through improved efficiency, streamlined communications, and easier availability of data, but may cause some service delays for a few weeks during the initial transition.
Locations impacted include Tift Regional Medical Center and the TRMC West Campus in Tifton, Cook Medical Center and Cook Senior Living Center in Adel, and all TRHS outpatient centers and clinics located throughout the region.
“This is similar to an under-construction project,” said Christopher K. Dorman, TRHS President/CEO. “We are asking patients and visitors to please be patient and pardon us during the month of June as we build a new future for the patient experience. During the first three-to-four weeks after we go live with the new system, patients may experience slight slowdowns including longer wait times for appointments and medications, as well as scheduling delays. Though our staff has been trained ahead-of-time, delays will occur because of the learning curve that follows an EHR implementation of this magnitude. Our providers and support staff will need time to become accustomed to the new system and new processes.”
Mr. Dorman said TRHS will be prepared as always to pinpoint and address any bottleneck issues and resolve them as necessary. “We will also have additional personnel to support our team members in troubleshooting problems and settling issues,” he stated.
Once the initial obstacles are identified and resolved, Dorman said the new technology will result in enhanced workflows which will improve the speed and accuracy in which TRHS provides patient care.
“Like many hospitals, TRHS had many different EHR systems in the inpatient and outpatient setting,” said Mr. Dorman. “In addition, our business applications did not interface well with the clinical systems. Cerner Millennium, in conjunction with Infor Lawson, will put everything on one cohesive information technology platform. It will allow our healthcare professionals to electronically store, capture, and access patient health information in both the acute and ambulatory care areas.”
Mr. Dorman said having a complete patient records across all care venues will translate into better communication and coordination of care, resulting in an enhanced patient experience.
With the new EHR system comes a patient portal upgrade, which will give patients online access to their health information.
“The My Tift Regional Patient Portal is currently operated by Relay Health, but will be moving to the HealtheLife Patient Portal as part of the Cerner Millennium implementation,” said Mr. Dorman.
The new patient portal will improve patient’s ability to communicate with medical staff and electronically provide access to their health information. Relay Health will remain and house historical data prior to May 31, 2018. HealtheLife will house data going forward beginning on June 1, 2018.
“We encourage patients to provide their email address upon registration after June 1,” said Mr. Dorman. “That way, they will be able sign-up with the new patient portal and continue to access their health information from the new patient portal.”