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Beebe Healthcare & Nanticoke Health Services

Catapulting patient care, and HIMSS Stages, in Delaware

Catapulting patient care, and HIMSS Stages, in Delaware

Sussex County, the southernmost county in Delaware, consists of two very different communities. Those communities are served by two different Cerner clients – both of which are now HIMSS Stage 6.

Sussex County is also the birthplace for the World Championship Punkin Chunkin. The event, which earned its own TV show, celebrates engineering ingenuity as giant catapults fling pumpkins across farmland.

Now, Sussex County’s health care systems catapult it over the rest. Of the three hospitals in the 938 mile county, the two Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Stage 6 are Cerner clients. (Another HIMSS 6 Cerner client, Christiana Care, is two counties north.)

HIMSS stages refer to the amount of integration a hospital or health care system has completed to manage electronic medical records. Fewer than 18 percent of hospitals in the United States – 968 - have achieved HIMSS Stage 6.

Nanticoke Health Services in Seaford hit Stage 6 less than six months after it partnered with Cerner ITWorks. The 98 bed hospital sits on the western side of Sussex County, which is predominately rural. Many of its nearly 95,000 residents work in manufacturing and agriculture.

In a recent newsletter to its almost 1,000 employees, Nanticoke Chief Information Officer and ITWorks Site Director Charles Palmer applauded the designation, saying “together, we have improved the lives of our patients, realized productivity increases for our patient-care staff, and achieved national recognition for our advanced used of information technology.”

About 30 miles east is Beebe Healthcare. Many of its patients are retirees or beach vacationers around Lewes, Del. It counts more than 200,000 patient visits to its facilities. Cerner became the EHR for the single hospital health system in Spring of 2014. By that summer, Beebe learned it jumped from HIMSS 3 to 6.

“Of all the vendors we looked at,” said Dr. Jeffrey Hawtof, Vice President of Beebe’s Medical Operations and Informatics, “Cerner seemed to have the best choice, the best fit for our organization.”

With both Nanticoke Health Services and Beebe Healthcare achieving Stage 6 in addition to being Cerner clients, patient care in southern Delaware – much like those pumpkins – has catapulted to new heights.

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Client outcomes were achieved in respective settings and are not representative of benefits realized by all clients due to many variables, including solution scope, client capabilities and business and implementation models.