Pushiness keeps an integration program on track

Communication and EHR integration improves efficiency at Stillwater (Okla.) Medical Center.

Stillwater (Okla.) Medical Center wanted to keep nurses and respiratory or physical therapists at bedsides rather than having them going back and forth to nurse stations to check for new orders.

So the hospital bought the Vocera wireless communication badge system to integrate with its Rauland-Borg call system, which integrates with the Meditech electronic health record. Now, when a physician enters an order, the call system locates the patient room, and the nurse or therapist are notified via the Vocera badge that there is a new order; then, they access the order through the EHR.

The integration works to increase communication among physicians and other clinicians, but not in the way that was expected. Vocera was supposed to also integrate with Meditech, which would have sped the process, but the linking could not be done, says Liz Michael, vice president of patient services and chief nursing officer. Stopping the integration program wasn’t an option for Michael.

During a March 2 session at HIMSS16, Michael will dig deeper into the integration program and encourage others to keep pushing when an initiative appears stalled. “Don’t take ‘no’ for an answer when looking for a solution,” she says. “We had been told that an interface can’t be found to make all three systems talk. I’m kind of pushy and said, ‘Okay, let’s make two that talk.’ ”

The session, “Communication and EHR Integration Improves Patient Experience,” is scheduled at 2:30 p.m. March 2 in Delfino 4004.

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