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Live, From Northern Light Health, It’s Cerner Millennium!

IMG_1903.JPGIt’s been more than a month since the outpatient—or ambulatory—practices began using our new, systemwide Cerner single electronic health record (EHR). Team members are settling into the new system, offering their insights, and are already seeing the positive effects for both patients and themselves.

“I am finding the biggest benefit to be the fact I don’t spend time chasing things down. Continuity of care seems to be improved because I can access most any Northern Light provider note in the system without having to call the practices,” shared Jacqueline Carter, FNP, at Northern Light Primary Care, Blue Hill. While wait times for patients were a little longer for the first couple of weeks of go-live, practices are ramping back up to full speed and most of the patients have been understanding.

Training on new software can be a bumpy process, but a lot of help was available to meet individual user needs: education sessions, user tools, daily calls for both leaders and practitioners, and hands-on support to keep things running smoothly. Jacqueline credited the abundance of support for making her experience a good one. “I have learned that most everything has been due to the hands-on support of people who know the EHR piece and our local clinical informaticist’s expertise with the clinical flows.”

We have also set up a “command center” solely dedicated to taking phone calls related to software launch questions for EHR and Infor CloudSuite. It has proven invaluable as its staff work to resolve issues as quickly as possible and follow up with callers on their specific questions and needs. As of October 30, the command center has fielded 2,850 calls, logged a total of 2,207 incidents, and resolved 1,977—50% of those were on the same day.

“The biggest challenge of all is moving from ‘this is how it used to work’ to ‘this is how we do it now,’” Jacqueline added. “Mostly it has been reframing people’s attitudes. It is tense at times; keeping a positive attitude can be hard because you can’t change people’s personalities. Change is hard, but we can see that it will benefit everyone.”
 
While change is challenging it’s also exciting with the right tools, support, and teamwork making the transition work for both staff and patients. As wave one of the transition wraps up in December, the team already has its eyes focused on 2019 and what the new year will bring. Using lessons learned from these last few months, 2019 will kick off new projects focusing on advancing our clinical and financial systems towards our goal of having a fully integrated revenue/clinical EHR.