King's Daughters Medical Center is LIVE with MEDITECH Expanse Patient Care
A historic pandemic can’t stop King’s Daughters Medical Center from completing a timely, cost-saving implementation of personalized nursing tools.
When King’s Daughters Medical Center (KDMC) signed on to be an early adopter for MEDITECH’s web-based Expanse Patient Care solution, nursing staff were eager to follow in the footsteps of their physician counterparts since they were already aware of the slick design, ease of use, and personalized navigation of their Expanse physician solution. But then the COVID-19 pandemic arrived, and with it the complications that come with caring for these patients. After losing one of their own to the virus, KDMC had to decide whether to continue with their implementation despite their heavy workloads. The decision was not difficult to make.
“While it’s nice to be on the leading edge of technology, it’s even more important to streamline processes and improve efficiencies,”explained KDMC’s Chief Information Officer Carl Smith. “In the case of our Expanse Patient Care implementation, these two ideals converged. If there was anything we could do to make things easier for our nurses and lessen their stress, we were going to do it.”
With full backing from the hospital administration, KDMC’s Clinical Applications Coordinator Joe Farr pressed on, and formed an inhouse team of highly dedicated nurse and respiratory therapy super users to lead the implementation, available at every shift to help on the floor and ease the transition to Go LIVE. “While normally nurses are the ones helping physicians, in the case of Expanse Patient Care we have actually seen some of the opposite,” said Farr. “Physicians and nurse practitioners were able to help guide nurses through the new EMR navigation.”
Ease of use and improved communication between physicians and nurses are some of the biggest benefits of KDMC’s implementation. With both physicians and nurses using Expanse, clinical workflows became more cohesive and consistent across solution sets. Nurses can now see the full patient chart in the same manner as their physician counterparts do, and employ similar tools to care for their patients more efficiently.
In addition, nurses were empowered to take advantage of the flexibility of Expanse Patient Care, to make it their own. “We are seeing more nursing engagement than we ever had before,” stated Farr. “The user interface is aligned with technologies that clinicians are accustomed to using in their daily lives, so it was easy for them to quickly learn and adapt the system to their needs.”
KDMC also realized a financial benefit from the work leading up to the Expanse Patient Care Go LIVE. “Moving to a web-based solution allowed us to reduce our 3rd party network licensing costs by over two-thirds. That’s more than $40,000 in annual savings — which is expected to go up as we eliminate additional servers,” Smith said. “Because the implementation was so easy, our resources could also be sourced in-house, without the need for expensive consultation services.”
KDMC went LIVE with Expanse Patient Care in December - right on schedule, even in the midst of a historic pandemic. “In this past year we faced crisis on top of crisis, but we still maintained steady progress through the implementation. And now we are reaping so many great results and such positive feedback, even from those staff who don’t routinely volunteer it,” says Farr.
“Oftentimes, something as challenging as a pandemic or other crises can bring out the worst in people, but it can also bring out the best. I am so proud of our hospital and what we have done with MEDITECH. I think it’s one of the biggest achievements of my career.”