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How St. Luke’s used Wand to speed EHR rollout

St. Luke’s Physician Group (Bethlehem, PA) should be proud. It recently introduced a new Electronic Health Record (EHR) system to 80 primary care providers, and 78 of them were able to attest to Meaningful Use. Most impressively, they achieved it in less than six months.

One of the keys to accomplishing this feat so quickly was rolling out the EHR along with Allscripts WandTM, according to St. Luke’s vice president of physician services, Linda Gately. Wand is an iPad app that enables clinicians to perform many tasks, such as taking vitals, reviewing appointments or checking test results.

“When we first saw Wand at ACE [Allscripts Client Experience], we loved it,” said Linda. “We thought it would be great if nurses could use tablets instead of clunky laptops and carts. We actually held our EHR go-live until we could also roll it out with Wand.”

That decision worked well for St. Luke’s. Patients and clinicians really like Wand, improving satisfaction across the St. Luke’s community. Some of the things they like include:

Clinicians get more time with patients.  Many St. Luke’s physicians are leaving laptops at their desks, opting for the speed of conducting tasks with the iPad. By making each task more efficient – from recording patient data to renewing medications – clinicians have more time to spend with patients.

Tablets save money and time. As St. Luke’s manager of information systems, Mario Galan estimated costs. He found they could buy 3.5 iPads for the cost of just one laptop. Additionally, in the time it takes his team to image one laptop, they can deploy 15 iPads.

Flexible tool enables faster improvements. Mario suggested it would be convenient to use the iPad’s camera to provide an image for the patient’s record, and Allscripts was able to respond with that functionality within a week. “That’s how flexible the platform is,” said Mario. “The sky is the limit.” Now, St. Luke’s no longer needs a separate program to enable photos in the EHR.

Easier to train clinicians. We use apps to manage our lives – from making bank deposits to checking train schedules and reading real-time news. Apps are familiar and intuitive. Rather than learn a new software program for the laptop, physicians can quickly learn on an iPad to scroll through appointment lists or zoom in for a closer look at an X-ray.

Now St. Luke’s is bringing Wand to approximately 300 specialty providers in 100 locations over a four-month period.  “In the next two years, we expect the iPad to replace many other devices,” said Linda. “Wand just makes the roll out of the EHR a whole lot simpler.”

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