McKesson announced today that OakBend Medical Center of Richmond, Texas, has successfully implemented McKesson’s Paragon® hospital information system (HIS) to capture health information electronically as patients receive care in the hospital. Additionally, OakBend deployed AcuDose-Rx® medication dispensing cabinets at its expanded campus to provide nurses with access to the medications they need, when they need them. With 100 percent adoption of the electronic health record (EHR) system by caregivers, OakBend has quickly been able to realize benefits from the system.
“We needed a more sophisticated IT system to remain competitive in the eyes of our physicians, nurses and patients,” said Joe Freudenberger, chief executive officer at OakBend Medical Center. “Our doctors now have faster, easier access to complete patient information, with no need for paper charts, and our staff of 300 nurses spends less time tracking down information and more time caring for patients.”
The Paragon HIS provides a single, integrated clinical and financial platform built on familiar Microsoft® Windows technology, so the time needed to train hospital staff on the system is less than other HIS systems. Freudenberger reports that system adoption has been outstanding since the system go-live, with 100 percent of nurses using the system within the first month and 100 percent of physicians using it within three months.
With the deployment of AcuDose-Rx medication dispensing cabinets, OakBend has tighter integration of the medication administration process for greater efficiency and accuracy. Plans to further boost patient safety at the hospital include future implementation of the Paragon bedside bar-code scanning solution. The solution enables nurses to scan patient wristbands and medications at the bedside, helping to ensure the “five rights” of patient safety: the right drug, right dose, right patient, right route and right time.
“Real-time communication of patient information between nurses and the pharmacy now occurs automatically,” stated Jody Jones, chief operating officer at OakBend Medical Center. “Eliminating manual, paper-intensive steps is saving time, improving efficiency and enabling a safer process.”
Additionally, the new IT system helps the business and medical records office run more smoothly by enabling the hospital to electronically capture, index, store and retrieve data. With the Paragon HIS, OakBend has experienced an improvement in cash flow and a reduction in AR due to the tools and effectiveness of the system.
OakBend is one of a growing number of community hospitals that are replacing aging systems with contemporary EHR systems that can help caregivers improve patient care and lower costs. Many plan to take advantage of economic stimulus incentives in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that reward hospitals and physician practices for demonstrating meaningful use of certified EHR systems.
“Like other community-based hospitals, OakBend Medical Center faces the same technology challenges and government mandates as bigger health enterprises, yet with fewer available resources,” said Jim Pesce, president of the Paragon solution suite at McKesson. “We’re pleased that OakBend recognized that our IT solutions can help meet those challenges head-on as it strives to achieve the highest-quality patient care.”