Three Beth Israel Deaconess System Hospitals Migrate to One Cloud-Based EHR Platform

Three of Beth Israel Deaconess System’s community hospitals moved from disparate electronic health record (EHR) platforms to one, unifying onto a cloud-based EHR platform. The new platform has increased interoperability and accessibility to data, and consolidated information technology services to provide economies of scale and support to all community hospitals while creating a better experience for clinicians, staff and consumers.

Challenge

Beth Israel’s community hospitals operated on separate EHR platforms, making it difficult for the hospitals to operate as a cohesive system. The lack of interoperability prevented physicians from having a full picture of the care consumers were receiving at other Beth Israel hospitals and made collaborating across the system difficult.

Approach

Beth Israel and Huron worked together to not only implement a new cloud-based EHR platform but also create a culture that embraced and used the technology to its full advantage. To do so, we:

  • Established one set of key performance indicators (KPIs). Aligned goals across the three hospitals have helped to realize efficiencies and ensure that everyone was working toward the same goal.
  • Developed a new governance structure. Key stakeholders have a voice in the decision-making process, increasing transparency and collaboration. The governance structure helped drive acceptance of the new platform and gave employees a voice in the future state.
  • Standardized process maps. The workflows for 30 system applications, 240 external interfaces and 400 processes were mapped in their current states across each of the hospitals as well as the singular future state that would be needed. Since existing processes were often different at the hospitals, feedback from key stakeholders was critical in ensuring that the new, unified process would be accepted at each location.
  • Shifted the system’s culture. The immense impact of a new EHR, combined with new processes and the shift from an on-premise to a cloud-based platform, created a significant amount of change across the system. With a focused effort on training and change management, employees embraced the new platform, seeing it less as a burden and more so as an opportunity to collaborate, improve processes and provide a better consumer experience.
  • Increased accessibility to data. The cloud-based EHR platform has enabled physicians to access consumer data from any internet-enabled device and given them a holistic picture of the care their consumers are receiving at all three community hospitals, as well as outpatient settings and select referring providers.
  • Improved the consumer experience. Consumers are now able to have connected health records from the three locations, along with physician offices, so that pre-surgery appointments can be performed at any location and their medical records from across the system can be seen in one place. This seamless experience will be critical for Beth Israel as it seeks to attract and retain consumers in an increasingly competitive market.
  • Created a foundation for future success. With consumer data available in one central place, Beth Israel can better make clinical decisions, manage patient flow and collaborate on business opportunities in the future. The platform can also be scaled to additional Beth Israel-owned and -affiliated hospitals.

Beth Israel Deaconess System’s mission is to provide extraordinary care where the patient comes first, supported by world-class education and research. The system makes it easy for those in the greater Boston area to access high-quality care close to home through its flagship hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, along with community hospitals in Milton, Needham and Plymouth; community-based practices; and other medical facilities.

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