Appalachian Regional Healthcare Cuts Costs with New Business Apps

Feb. 3, 2010

ST. PAUL, Minn., Feb 2, 2010 – Appalachian Regional Healthcare System in Boone, North Carolina, recently completed an organization-wide deployment of Lawson QuickStep Healthcare, a pre-configured enterprise software package that will help the hospital system enhance its human resources capabilities and improve integration between its financial and supply chain processes. The package, which was implemented in less than six months, includes the Lawson Business Intelligence, Human Resource Management, Enterprise Financial Management and Supply Chain Management suites.

With the deployment, the health system is also Lawson’s first customer to complete a system-wide deployment of Lawson Point of Use, which helps automate the supply chain, financial and patient billing processes connected with chargeable patient supplies. This helps healthcare organizations more accurately capture supply usage and report patient charges.

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System is a 262-bed health system with more than 1,500 employees. It operates three hospitals, Blowing Rock Hospital, Charles A. Cannon, Jr. Memorial Hospital and Watauga Medical Center, which united to allow for increased efficiencies, cost savings and to provide a full continuum of care for the residents of the High Country of North Carolina.

In early 2009, the health system approached Lawson to help it consolidate its disparate IT systems into one, integrated solution. “We chose Lawson QuickStep Healthcare because of Lawson’s solid reputation in the industry and its ability to help us get up and running on a new enterprise solution quickly,” said Terry Prescott, IT director of business applications for Appalachian Regional Healthcare System. “Lawson had our health system live on the entire implementation after only five and a half months – early and under budget. This success lends credence to the Lawson process, the Lawson Professional Services consultants that managed the implementation, and the dedication of the executives and our entire staff.”

Lawson QuickStep Healthcare helps reduce the time, cost and risks typically associated with an enterprise software implementation by pre-configuring approximately 70 to 90 percent of the key business processes required by healthcare organizations. It combines Lawson’s healthcare-specific content with built-in business best practices, based on Lawson’s extensive knowledge of the healthcare industry. This helps deliver greater visibility into an organization’s human resources, supply chain and finance activities.

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System also replaced its outdated patient charge capture system with Lawson Point of Use, a new solution that provides a more accurate and user-friendly way to record patient charges and re-order supplies. The system’s previous charge system interface was time-consuming, sometimes forcing staff to skip charge entry during emergencies. With the Lawson solution, delivered through a wireless-enabled, touch-screen interface, combined with the diligence of the health system’s staff, Appalachian Regional Healthcare is now seeing an increase in the number of charges being captured, resulting in more accurate patient billing.

“Lawson Point of Use is easier for our staff to use, and as a result, we’re able to capture more accurate information for internal reporting,” said Sherrie King, internal auditor for Appalachian Regional Healthcare System. “Previously, all our chargeable supplies were going into a single revenue center, but now we’re able to push charges out to the departments that are actually using those supplies, which helps improve accountability. This level of reporting will help us break revenues down to determine which departments are not doing as well as others in terms of capturing charges and help them to improve.”