Warren General Hospital selects MEDITECH Expanse; maintains independence
Warren General Hospital (Warren, PA) chooses Expanse to create a better patient experience with a fully integrated patient record and one patient portal.
As a rural community hospital that values its independence, Warren General Hospital (Warren, PA) wanted an EHR that would help them connect easily with its larger referral partners who were running different systems. After evaluating several EHRs, including those used by its referring organizations, they selected MEDITECH Expanse.
Currently, Warren General Hospital uses a legacy MEDITECH solution in its hospital, three different EHR platforms across its ambulatory practices, and more than 300 software programs overall. Paper and faxing are used to fill gaps in communication between facilities. Depending on where patients receive care, they may have to enroll in three separate patient portals to view all of their medical information. One of the driving forces behind the move to Expanse was to create a better patient experience with a fully integrated patient record and one patient portal.
“We were impressed with the capabilities and upgrades Expanse offered,” said CEO Rick Allen. “As an independent community hospital we are challenged every which way, and we now have the ability to improve our EHR at a predictable and sustainable cost model.”
Warren General Hospital is the primary care destination for all residents in the county and surrounding area, so remaining independent is important. They have well established referral partnerships with other health systems, so sharing data was a central driver of their decision. The Expanse platform’s Traverse Interoperability solution leaves them strongly positioned to successfully exchange electronic health records with these partners to enable physicians to see the full patient story — ensuring the best possible outcomes and a positive patient experience.
Understandably, fiscal responsibility has been a priority. Since joining Warren General Hospital, Allen has focused on improving the organization’s finances by securing community support and public grants to fund major projects. The Expanse implementation is partially funded through the USDA’s Emergency Rural Healthcare Grants program.
“We budget to maintain system support for every IT platform that we manage, and it’s clear this migration will result in long term savings for us,” said CIO Cheryl Girardier. “Our EHR capabilities will significantly exceed what we have in place today, on a consolidated platform and lower total cost down the road.”
Warren General’s Executive Director of Quality and Operations Kathryn Carlson sees how the move to Expanse will also support quality initiatives and an improved patient experience.
“I think Expanse is really going to help us, by presenting information in a unified format that patients can understand and physicians can gain insights from,” Carlson said.
“Having so many fractured systems makes it harder for inpatient doctors to know what is happening on the outpatient side. Under one platform, patients’ prescriptions, treatments, and recommendations of care will all be visible. That is going to be huge for us.”
Warren General’s physicians were actively involved in the EHR selection process. They were sold on Expanse’s streamlined workflows, ease of use, and the ability to support quality initiatives.
“We have so many manual and redundant processes right now,” said COO & CNO Joseph Akif. “But this is our opportunity to restart and get one EHR that can do it all for us. Expanse is one source of truth that we can all trust.”
MEDITECH EVP & COO Helen Waters believes that community hospitals are facing similar pressures as they weigh their options for staying independent. “Warren General Hospital’s journey resonates with so many organizations today,” she said. “Their story is a powerful reminder that it is possible to build strong affiliations with larger organizations while also delivering efficient technology for clinicians and a better care experience for patients.”