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One of the challenges of running the IT department of a five-hospital organization that also includes two academic medical centers, two affiliated medical schools, and two physician groups, according to Aurelia Boyer, senior VP and CIO of New York-Presbyterian Healthcare System, is synchronization.
For example, a major priority for the hospitals at one point might be to improve connectivity with physician offices. But the practices might be busy getting 500 physicians to prescribe electronically. "It's not that everyone doesn't agree on what we want to do, but the timing of those things can get difficult," she said.
In some ways, complying with the federal Meaningful Use requirements has been less daunting. All New York-Presbyterian Healthcare System hospitals are using the Allscripts' Sunrise electronic health record system, and all are using computerized physician order entry for 100% of their orders, Boyer said. Nursing notes all are electronic and so are most physician notes, she said.
Resident physicians at the New York-Presbyterian's academic medical centers led the way in getting doctors to adopt the inpatient EHR system, Boyer said. Then, at some point, faculty physicians and other staff members began to realize that having a record-keeping system that was half electronic and half paper was inefficient and unsafe. "The physicians themselves said this is not a good practice, we have to go all one way." So with leadership from some department chairs, Boyer said, everybody got on board.