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Southwest General Health Center

An EHR for two: Southwest General Health Center’s Women’s Health saves 40 hours in work, increases charges by over $1 million

In health care today, every second, dollar and patient matters. For Women’s Health and Maternity clinicians, who often care for two patients at once, the stakes can be twice as high.

That is why Southwest General Health Center (Southwest General) – a 358-bed, non-profit hospital serving three counties southwest of Cleveland, OH – automated its Women’s Health and Maternity workflows using Cerner’s Fetal Monitoring and Ambulatory and Acute Perinatal Documentation solutions.

Since its implementation in August 2014, Southwest General removed more than 40 hours per month from maternity workflows. It’s also found additional charges that were not captured in the previous, paper-based system — generating over $1 million in added charges in 2015. Most importantly, patient information is integrated with other areas of the hospital, providing a more comprehensive record for both mothers and infants.

Southwest General attributes increased integration and reduced duplication to each of these improvements.

“The admission of patients has been streamlined, the time shortened, and questions asked in Maternity have been standardized to be consistent with what is being asked throughout the hospital,” said Jill Castenair, RNC-EFM, Clinical Manager of Maternity at Southwest General.

Prior to implementing Cerner’s suite of Women’s Health and Maternity solutions, Labor and Delivery (L&D) nurses captured standard data each time a patient returned to the department, such as past and current pregnancy information, social and medical histories, etc.

Now nurses document changes one time and all of the patient’s information in one place. That saves L&D nurses 28 hours per month when documenting triaged patients and non-stress tests.

“The nurses like that they can review past office visits with one click in the chart,” said Castenair, “rather than hoping to have the paper antepartum record available.”

Leveraging the added integration between the EHR and Cerner FetaLink™, providers and clinicians can easily document and correlate data between the patient’s record and the fetal monitor throughout the labor process. Before, it was all disjointed data documented in different locations.

To quantify the added efficiency, Southwest General looked at the time it took a clinician to locate three previous physician events (i.e., physician in the room, fetal tracing reviewed, orders given / received, etc.) on the Fetal Monitoring Strip. Since implementing Cerner solutions, 16.5 hours were removed per month.

Eliminating unnecessary duplication also helps unit secretaries, who are now able to review and charge based on a comprehensive record of all clinician documentation, rather than fragmented and inconsistent encounter information.

As a result, Southwest General account charges increased $402 per case from 2013 to 2015. With 2,574 total cases in 2015, Southwest General garnished an additional $1,034,748 in added charges.

“Data collection is easier since all the information is in one system,” said Ellen Vanderschrier, unit secretary.

By automating and integrating its Women’s Health and Maternity documentation processes and associated workflows, Southwest General gives time back to its clinicians and added revenue to the organization. The most important gift, however, is helping its clinician’s provide the best care to the patient – or patients – every time.

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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.