Athenahealth is now partnering with the University of Toledo Medical Center as it continues work to create a new hospital inpatient system to integrate with its ambulatory electronic health records and revenue cycle software, and gain entry to the acute-care hospital market.

Athenahealth began its transition last year when it bought two inpatient electronic health record systems and struck a developmental alliance with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston to create a new inpatient system. Now with Toledo Medical, it has a second, but complementary, developmental alliance.

Beth Israel is a large delivery system, but the initial developmental work with athenahealth is being done at Beth Israel’s 58-bed hospital in Needham, Mass. Partnering with Toledo Medical is a boon to Athenahealth, because it operates 207 beds, and its size will enable Athenahealth to understand the needs of bigger facilities, while also getting new perspectives from a second hospital, says Justin Seger, an architect at Athenahealth. “Each site that joins brings new insights and information,” he explains.

Toledo Medical Center

In early 2015, Athenahealth acquired small-hospital vendor RazorInsights and the webOMR EHR that was built in-house at Beth Israel.

RazorInsights has a core hospital information system that included an electronic health records system. Athenahealth replaced RazorInsights’ EHR with a modified version of its ambulatory athenaClinicals EHR, which was integrated with the hospital information system, as well as ancillary systems such as laboratory, pharmacy and radiology. This augmented system now acts as the inpatient EHR that Athenahealth offers to the small hospital market.

Beth Israel’s webOMR inpatient EHR wasn’t bought to be deployed by Athenahealth in hospitals; rather, it was installed at the Needham hospital to serve as a learning tool while Athenahealth continues to develop the new inpatient system with Beth Israel and Toledo Medical. The webOMR product acts as a test-bed for Athenahealth to learn of and understand the challenges of implementing inpatient EHRs, Seger says. The vendor is working with clinicians and technicians at the Needham hospital to learn about workflows, the intricacies of inpatient implementations and other issues.

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The University of Toledo Medical Center is replacing its McKesson Horizon system, which no longer will be supported after 2018. Last year, it adopted Athenahealth’s ambulatory and patient engagement systems, as well as revenue cycle software and services. Now, it joins Beth Israel in working with Athenahealth to further develop the new inpatient EHR.

Seger expects to start bringing parts of Needham and Toledo Medical live with the new Athenahealth inpatient EHR in late 2016 or early 2017, with all of Toledo Medical going live during 2017.

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