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Virginia Department Behavioral Health Developmental Services

Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services implements comprehensive EHR on time and under budget, receives state honors

The Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS), the Commonwealth of Virginia’s public mental health services system, received two state awards celebrating its successful EHR transformation.

In September DBHDS was the recipient of the 2016 Virginia Governor’s Technology Award for the implementation of its comprehensive electronic health record (EHR), OneMind. Most recently, DBHDS’s OneMind EHR was once again recognized as the first place Project Excellence-2016 by Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA).

“The project management of OneMind was a collaboration between Cerner and DBHDS,” said Suzanne Battaglia, Director Health Information Technology at DBHDS. “Together we were able to successfully complete the implementation project on time and under budget.”

DBHDS initially implemented an EHR in 2013 with the primary focus of meeting Meaningful Use Stage 1 requirements. While meaningful use targets were achieved, staff adoption of the system was low.

“We had just enough adoption to get through meaningful use, but not enough to change the culture and engage our providers to use the system fully,” said Battaglia.

In 2014, DBHDS embarked again on its digital journey from a paper-based organization to a network of electronically collaborating hospitals — this time with the engagement of Cerner’s Organizational Change Management Consulting.

The second implementation project, internally branded as the OneMind EHR Project, included rolling out a new EHR in three mental health hospitals and a suite of 22 integrated applications.

The new system enables caregivers to electronically document all aspects of patient care, including patient diagnosis, multi-disciplinary treatment plans, progress notes, physician medication and non-medication orders.

The people involved in the project greatly contributed to the success of the second implementation. Massive changes such as an information technology (IT) overhaul need buy-in from all stakeholders to ensure adoption.

In order to create a culture of change and increase adoption of the system, Battaglia engaged Cerner’s Organizational Change Management Consulting to conduct an assessment and develop a governance strategy.

“Leadership matters in times of transition,” explains Kelly Pingleton, consulting director organizational change management. “Research and our Cerner experience demonstrates time and time again that organizations that focus on people involvement, adoption and leadership are far more successful than those that don’t,” she added.

The first step was working with executives to define the organizational goals. Next, her team listened to users to find out what their needs were from the system. They also brought in users, gave them a stake in the change management project and identified accountable leaders at each hospital.

“We would create WWW lists,” said Battaglia. “What are we going to do, who is going to do it and when will it be done. After that, we worked hand in hand for months, listening to their needs. This process created confidence that we were going to live up to our word.”

User satisfaction surveys demonstrate that 84 percent of users reported overall satisfaction with the new system.

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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.