Tidelands Health, with three hospitals and about 40 outpatient sites in South Carolina, has used the eClinicalWorks ambulatory software since 2009. Now, the organization will be a pilot site for the vendor’s new inpatient hospital information system.

Understanding the big changes in payment and quality models coming quickly to the healthcare industry, Tidelands is getting ready for the next three years as accountable care matures, says Todd Rowland, MD, senior vice president and CIO.

Todd Rowland, MD
Todd Rowland, MD

The new eClinicalWorks product will replace the existing system Tidelands is using from Meditech. The organization tried unsuccessfully to integrate eClinicalWorks with Meditech, says Rowland, who previously ran the HealthLINC health information exchange in Indiana.

A new inpatient system, Rowland notes, will put the organization in a better position for accountable care, particularly in meeting the expectations of Baby Boomers. “This is just a gamble to enter that market with more confidence.”

Also See: eClinicalWorks offering cloud-based inpatient HIT

A site visit to an eClinicalWorks client hospital in India impressed Rowland and colleagues, particularly the elegance of screens and especially bed management screens, he recalls. “The chief nursing officer knew where all patients were at all times.”

When asked about the risk of swapping out inpatient systems, Rowland says eClinicalWorks is a known entity and physicians are highly satisfied with the ambulatory product. Pilot testing the new inpatient system brings the benefits of lower costs and significant input and influence, having much more influence in the development of the product than if the hospital was only an existing customer of another inpatient vendor.

Swapping inpatient systems also will save a lot of money by avoiding having to upgrade the Meditech system, Tidelands learned during its due diligence. “We will save $2 million in total cost of ownership compared with what we have,” Rowland says.

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