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Meditech: Not Business As Usual

When the new Meditech electronic health information system goes live in May 2019, it will not only enhance how patient information flows through clinical areas, it will also streamline almost every aspect of the hospital’s business operations—from patient registration and billing to payroll and purchasing.

“Meditech will replace virtually all of the systems we are currently using on the business side of hospital operations,” says Larry Frank, senior director of Revenue Cycle, Patient Access, and Patient Financial Services, who is the fiscal lead of the Meditech implementation project. Approximately 150 staff work within these areas.

“We currently have core team leads representing each area who have a deep understanding of the existing Paragon system and are learning about the new Meditech environment and how things will change in the future,” says Larry. Some of these staff were part of the Planning and Design phase of the Meditech project and are now part of build teams developing dictionaries and content.

Additionally, four representatives from Santa Rosa, the health care technology consulting firm assisting with the implementation, are focused on transitioning the hospital’s business operations into the new platform.

One of the major benefits of the new Meditech system from the business perspective, says Larry, is that it will enable the hospital to stop using a number of expensive third-party plug-ins that are now being employed to compensate for limitations in the Paragon system. “Much like the clinical areas that have had to create workarounds to get their work done in the Paragon system, we’ve had to do the same on the business side,” says Larry. “With Meditech, this should no longer be necessary.”

While he recognizes that change on such a large scale can be difficult, and moving to an entirely new electronic health information system represents a big learning curve for staff, Larry is confident that the end result will be worth the effort. “Whether it’s on the clinical or financial side, Meditech will be a big improvement for everybody once they get used to it.”

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