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Springhill Medical CIO reveals award-winning strategies, Part 2

Editor’s Note: Springhill Medical Center (Mobile, AL, U.S.A.) is always moving forward. The privately owned, independent hospital recently achieved a prestigious Stage 6 in the HIMSS Analytics’ Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM). Only about 13% of U.S. hospitals have attained HIMSS EMRAM Stage 6, which shows significant progress in integrating electronic systems. And that’s not all. This year marks the third time The Outsourcing Center, an international company, recognized Allscripts and Springhill with the Best Outsourcing Partnership award. Springhill’s Chief Information Officer Mark Kilborn shares some of the best practices that earned these recognitions. This post will focus on achieving the Best Outsourcing Partnership award.

The American Recovery Reinvestment Act in 2009 mandated that all U.S. hospitals would move to the electronic health record (EHR) and qualify for federal incentives.  In partnership with Allscripts, Springhill started that journey in 2003. To date, we have received over $3.6 million dollars through the reimbursement program. Outsourcing has certainly played a part in that success.

Technology doesn’t replace people or remove them from the decision process. It still takes that skilled, trained compassionate care-giver. Our job is to give them the very best tools and data they need to make those care decisions.

Advice about starting or strengthening outsourcing partnerships

While it may not be the right fit at every organization, having the CIO position outsourced has been crucial to our success. Sometime it may be the current CIO who transitions over or it may mean bringing in a new body. I was hired on as the Allscripts Account Manager. My job with Allscripts is to be the CIO for Springhill Medical Center, represent their best interest and act as a good steward of their assets. Any outsourcing manager that takes that approach will be successful.

Why is it important? As the CIO, I sit at the table with the Administrative team with an equal voice. This affords me the opportunity to spot IT challenges and potential contributions early in the discussion and planning stages. Plus there’s only one place to go when things don’t go as well as can be expected.

You strengthen the partnership by performing. Our ability to deliver quality, timely, cost effective solutions is what makes this engagement work. It’s what turned a seven year contract into a twenty year partnership. Outsourcing brought more standard quality measurements to Springhill enabling us to capitalize on the hospital’s investment in technology.

Benefits Springhill gets from awards

In this competitive market where the patient has so many choices he or she can make, we need every bit of leverage we can get to influence them to want to come to Springhill Medical Center for care. These awards demonstrate a level of excellence in the use of technology in aiding the delivery of that care.

We’ve had physicians tell us part of the reason they’re admitting to our hospital is because of the technology we’ve deployed. Technology that compliments the delivery of quality care these folks are known for giving.

Our census numbers are higher than they have been in years. I have to believe it’s because folks know when they come to Springhill, they will get the very best care available and we helped deliver it.

Editor’s Note: CEO Jeff St. Clair shares his views on the outsourcing partnership in a recent video. To learn more about Managed IT Services, contact Allscripts.

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