Twin County Poised for Stimulus Incentives

Jan. 8, 2010

ATLANTA, January 7, 2010 – Twin County Regional Hospital (TCRH) recently announced that it is expanding its McKesson Paragon® hospital information system to increase efficiency and help improve patient safety across the entire medical community of Galax, Va. and surrounding areas. Benefits of TCRH’s integrated plans for an inpatient and outpatient electronic health record (EHR) include making patient histories, physician orders, and test results immediately available anywhere a patient goes for care. By enabling information-sharing between the hospital and its employed and several affiliated physician practices, TCRH positions itself to take full advantage of economic stimulus incentives.

TCRH is a 141-bed acute-care hospital and was recently recognized as a “Most Improved” community hospital under the Most Wired Survey and Benchmarking study. In addition to the EHR, the hospital’s plans include implementation of McKesson’s electronic document imaging system, computerized physician order entry (CPOE) system,  pharmacy information system, and medication administration bar-coding technology system.  

“Over the past 18 months, we’ve provided practitioners in our hospital and clinics with more timely access to critical clinical information,” reports Jon Applebaum, president and chief executive officer, Twin County Regional Hospital. “Now the stage is set to make even larger strides in improving the quality and safety of the care we provide. We expect the additional clinical solutions to help us realize an almost 3-to-1 return on investment in information technology.”

TCRH is building on a successful deployment of the Paragon integrated clinical and financial system, which is specifically designed to meet the needs of community hospitals, and McKesson’s Practice Partner® CCHIT-certified outpatient medical record. The integrated systems create a single EHR and enable the practices to electronically send orders to the hospital, with results flowing back to the physician offices. All employed physicians at six clinics use the Practice Partner system, while physicians at four affiliated practices are gearing up to install it.

“With an EHR, we can share information among our clinics and with the hospital, preventing duplicate procedures, cutting costs and increasing the continuity of care for patients,” says Chastity McGrady, manager of the TCRH Family Care Centers. “The Practice Partner system’s ability to electronically submit prescriptions to a patient’s pharmacy also significantly improves patient safety.”

TCRH’s ability to reduce report turnaround times from 24 hours to minutes and then provide immediate access to those results – from lab results in the emergency department to radiology images and reports in the clinic – has significantly improved patient throughput, patient care and patient satisfaction.

“We have 12 hospitals within a one-hour drive of our facility, but patients say that for an emergency room visit, TCRH is the place to go because our new emergency department system helps us care for patients so quickly,” says Jack Roberts, director of information systems, Twin County Regional Hospital. “Our technology partnership with McKesson gives us a single-vendor offering with everything we need for our hospital and clinic community.”  

Applebaum adds that the selection of Paragon eleven years ago continues to be seen as a wise decision. “Paragon was the right fit for us then, and it’s the right fit for the future,” he explains. “As we invest in the latest Paragon modules, we are getting full integration that will increase our efficiency and our ability to provide better patient care.”

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