Vail Health opts for Spok to aid care team communication

Health system expects technology to improve care coordination and help clinicians find information fast.

Vail (Colo.) Health is using a communications platform from Spok, implementing the technology across the 12-site system that includes 56-bed Vail Health Hospital.

Other facilities at the organization include Shaw Cancer Center, Howard Head Sports Medicine, two urgent care centers and multiple clinics. The Spok software facilitates clinicians in finding information quickly and eliminates phone tag and confusion when trying to reach care team members, says Cassie Dirks, director of the patient care unit, intensive care unit and the cardiac catheterization lab. “It allows my team to spend more time with patients while having full awareness of what is going on with other patients on the floor.”

Governed by a volunteer board of directors, Vail Health offers 24/7 emergency care, a helipad, urgent care clinics, cancer care, breast centers, cardiovascular services, surgery, childbirth, physical therapy, internal medicine and endocrinology.

The organization’s platform automates processes for on-call scheduling, code calls and secure text messaging, and also is the single source of truth for all directory data.

“A huge benefit we have seen from the platform is that clinicians can act faster because Spok delivers the information they need when they need it and on whatever device they are using,” adds Darrell Messersmith, chief medical information officer and chief information officer. “We have been able to consolidate disparate systems into a single system of action, which has improved care.”

Here are other new contracts and implementations reported this past week.

* Priority Health, an insurance company in Michigan serving 900,000 members, has selected the Guiding Care platform of Altruista Health. The vendor also has knowledgeable health plan operations clinicians to provide additional services. “We believe that GuidingCare’s patient-centric platform will further enhance our approach to care management and ensure that our members receive the best care possible,” says James Forshee, MD, senior vice president and chief medical officer at Priority Health.

* Ephraim McDowell Health Systems, with three hospitals serving 119,000 residents in central Kentucky, will use the FollowMyHealth enterprise and mobile patient engagement platform of Allscripts. Existing users of the platforms have seen as many as 70 percent of patients actively engaged through the platform, according to the vendor. “We as an industry must be prepared for the evolving health IT landscape and start now on creating intuitive access to our services, a simplified method of enabling personalized outreaches and improve how we coordinate a patient’s journey,” says Gary Neat, CIO at Ephraim McDowell Health.

* Arizona-based Banner Health, with 28 hospitals across six states, has selected software from Axiom, a unit of Kaufman Hall, to optimize financial and operational performance. The software offers best-practice methodologies to streamline processes, manage costs, model industry changes, improve efficiencies and identify variances. “As our enterprise evolved in terms of scale and complexity, we outgrew some of the software we built to management different business functions,” says Dennis Laraway, chief financial officer. Consequently, Banner selected multiple software modules from Axiom covering financial and capital planning and tracking, asset replacement planning, budgeting, performance reporting and analytics, and rolling forecasting.

* Lackey Memorial Hospital, a 35-bed facility 40 miles from Jackson, Miss., has gone live on the Thrive electronic health record of CPSI. The hospital’s previous technology system no longer met its needs and was very expensive to maintain. The Thrive EHR was implemented both in the hospital and the emergency department. CPSI got the contract because of product functionality, experience working with small provider organizations, stellar support services and an ability to really listen to the client, says Sydney Sawyer, CEO at Lackey Memorial Hospital.

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