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Advisory and EHR Implementation

December 16, 2019

Allscripts Ambulatory & Sunrise Financial Manager

Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS), the leader for healthcare in the High Country of North Carolina, is comprised of two hospitals and 13 ambulatory clinics. When the health system mapped out its 2019 technology roadmap, it prioritized the standardization of its clinical and business applications.

The roadmap dictated that the organization move away from Athena for outpatient clinic registration, scheduling and billing; from Affinity/Quadramed for Acute registration, scheduling, billing and HIM; and, from Picis and Dragon for OR and speech recognition, respectively.

Challenges

Having managed the upgrade of the ambulatory registration and scheduling components for a single practice with internal resources, the IT team at ARHS recognized that replicating that work across the remaining practices was going to exceed the capacity of the organization. A decision was made to seek assistance from an outside firm that understood both the business and the technology, and that could leverage best practices for the benefit of the project.

Results

In April of 2018, iMethods kicked off the engagement by providing advisory services to ARHS, which included governance and guidance on IT organizational structure, training services of clinical workflows and new applications in both ambulatory and revenue cycle platforms. This foundation of aligned governance combined with a well-designed plan was critical to setting the stage for a streamlined implementation.

In the Spring of 2019, iMethods launched the first phase of the project with ARHS – the ambulatory clinic system migration. The impressive scale of the effort necessitated the deployment of more than 80 iMethods resources (including one activation manager, two program managers, a clinical informaticist, an Allscripts Analyst to serve as subject matter expert and an additional 77 go-live resources).

These team members provided project oversight, elbow-to-elbow support and help desk leadership for all outpatient clinics as they rolled out Sunrise Healthcare Information Management and Revenue Cycle components. Having a dedicated project lead and clear reporting processes, along with the ability to scale resources to meet needs of the project once underway, made a significant impact on keeping the initiative on schedule. When it was discovered that some of the scheduling data had not migrated to the new application due to software limitations, the iMethods team sprung into action, bringing on two dozen local, part-time resources who worked around the clock to work on the backlog.

According to CIO Nathan White, “iMethods leadership was quick to act and brought us a team of dependable and capable resources to get this data loaded and back on track. It was seamless and productive. We couldn’t have asked for a more agile response to our needs.”