Project Team Says, ‘Show Us What You’ve Got’

Jennifer Bronson, BSN, RN, right, outcomes coordinator for cardiac progress at Boone Hospital Center, talks to a Cerner representative. | Photo by Karen Stewart

September 15, 2014 - Work continues to select a core clinical system solution (electronic medical record) to provide enhanced access to patient information by physicians, nurses and other clinicians, while supporting improved quality and safety.

“Requirements Validation Day,” held in May, brought together more than 200 individuals from across BJC, including 65 physicians. This group created over 60 scenarios for potential vendors to consider.

Three vendors moved forward in the selection process - Allscripts, Cerner and Epic. These organizations came to St. Louis in August to demonstrate their response to those BJC-specific scenarios.

Almost 400 individuals from across BJC and Washington University School of Medicine participated in these “demonstration days.” Attendees’ feedback is being used to help make the final decision on one core clinical solution to be used across BJC.

Each vendor held sessions over two days on topics such as physician documentation, nursing and interdisciplinary transitions, case management, pharmacy, pediatrics, radiology, informatics and quality reporting, medication management, and others.

Attendees chose the sessions that applied to their discipline, and attended the same sessions with each vendor to compare. They rated the vendors after each session and provided feedback.

“This is awesome,” says Sheri Engel, MSN, RN, a clinical nurse manager at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. “I have seen people who hold a variety of positions participating. Demonstration Day gives us a quick snapshot of what the vendor can do and provides more in-depth information between the sessions.”

Classroom presentations were supplemented with a hands-on lab area where participants were encouraged to spend one-on-one time with a vendor subject matter expert. They explored the system in a more in-depth manner and showed how it would impact workflow.

Sandy Morris and Tammie Edwards, both accounts receivable coordinators with the central business office of BJC Medical Group, spent time looking at the business side of the medical records systems. “Often these things are geared just toward the hospitals,” Edwards says. “We love the hands-on session and how they are spending time with us individually to answer our questions.”

“It was interesting and encouraging to see close to 400 invitees turn out each week, for three weeks in a row, to review and assess the functionality that the three vendors had to present,” says Cherodeep Goswami, project lead. “The first-hand feedback from the participants will be important for us as we start outlining the strengths and weaknesses of these products.”

The core clinical system project was launched in January to find a documentation system that will provide enhanced access to patient information while supporting improved quality and safety. The goal is to select a vendor by the end of 2014.

“The entire process has been well organized and inclusive of key stakeholders throughout the organization,” says Jacqueline Randolph, MBA, BJH ambulatory services director. “Feedback from leaders, physicians and staff is critical to the success of this project and is taken seriously by the committee. This is important work, and when it’s for our patients, we have to get it right.”

“I thought these demos were very well planned, implemented and attended, and I learned a lot,” says Mitchell Botney, MD. “I heard many different opinions as to why this vendor was better for this function - say, revenue management - and another person would say this other vendor was better for another function, such as CPOE. When we collate all the opinions, we will be able to determine if a consensus was established.”