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New EMR Implementation on June 24 at CCMH

Crawford County Memorial Hospital is implementing a new electronic medical record (EMR) on Monday, June 24, 2024. It’s a big deal for CCMH and it’s going to be a big deal for patients too.

“We have a great group of super users that have been working since December, pretty consistently I would say, on a daily basis in the system. Getting familiar with it and training all staff throughout the facility on how to use the system.

So says Tiffany Ransom, Patient Access Manager.

“From a patient access perspective, the EMR houses all of the patient demographics including name,  address, and any identifying patient information. It also keeps patient financial information, health insurance, and any charges to a patient visit for the day. Finally, on the back end, it houses any orders the medical providers input and any results for patient visits for that day as well.”

Kendra Hartwig, Patient Access Lead, said the EMR system is highly confidential.

“Just like any other health information system, the new EMR is highly confidential. All of the data included on the system can be accessed by the credentialed users. It allows our patient access staff to input patient information and transfer it to the providers that you’re seeing.”

One of the benefits of the new system is eliminating the cumbersome nature of the current EMRs at CCMH. Ransom says one EMR is now in use in the clinic and a different EMR is used for hospital patients.

 “This will eliminate duplication. Upgrading the EMR will allow us to go away from those two systems and combine them for a better patient experience. We’re also doing this for better continuity of care across all departments at CCMH.”

Nonetheless, Ransom notes patients will see a difference in their experience at CCMH beginning on June 24.

“I think one of the big things is the increased wait times. It will happen because there will be some manual entry of that information into the new system. While some data will automatically import, not all of it will, unfortunately. On the first visit for all of our patients, we’ll be asking for quite a bit of that information and, of course, verifying that whatever was imported it is correct. So check-in times will be a little bit longer than what they have been in the past.”

Hartwig offered a few suggestions to make the check-in process smoother and more enjoyable.

“Patient will need to arrive about 15 minutes earlier than they normally would. That will give us plenty of time to work through all of the demographics. It will also help us confirm the patient we have is the right person and that everything’s up to date in the new system.”

Some information, according to Ransom, will have to be re-entered, and that starts with insurance cards.

“Scanned images will not be imported into the new EMR. We are asking all patients to please bring all copies of their insurance cards, primaries, secondaries, as well as your ID. It will help us ensure all information is up-to-date and entered properly. This will smooth the billing process. When the claim does go to the insurance company, it will be correct won’t cause any issues for the patient.”

Patients will also be required to sign an updated consent to treatment and privacy statement.

“We’re going to ask each patient to go ahead and sign a new consent on their first visit once we flip over to the new system, as well as the notice of privacy practices. Those notice of privacy practices are good for three years. Once that’s signed, we won’t be asking for that again for quite a while.

Admitting in the Emergency Medical Services department (ER), Hartwig stated, will utilize the same process.

“There is a lot less information required for admittance in the ER, at least to be seen by a doctor. Usually it’s just a name, a date of birth, how they got there and the medical issue that brought them in. That’s enough to get a doctor’s eyes on them and a nurse to help them. The rest of the information we’ll need can be collected later.”

Hartwig recommends that patients bring their patience.

“As long as I’ve been at CCMH, we have collected insurance information and IDs once around the first of the year and then again in the middle of the year. I believe patients are used to bringing their information and it’s right around the time it will need to be updated. Monday, June 24th is our go live date. So in addition to and ID and their insurance card or whatever else information they need, the patients probably need to bring their patience well.”



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