FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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Jodi Ritacca, HealthEast
(St. Paul, MN – Aug. 17, 2010) – HealthEast Care System is one of only two health care organizations nationally to receive McKesson’s 2010 Distinguished Achievement Award. HealthEast received this honor for advancing patient care by using innovative health care information technology (IT) to manage patient flow through its facilities.
Two years ago, HealthEast created a centralized command center using electronic tracking boards to help monitor patient flow in real-time 24/7 throughout the HealthEast hospitals. As a result, in less than a year, patient waiting times dropped in the emergency departments, patient satisfaction scores jumped 36 percent and ambulance diversion hours decreased 63 percent.
"This shows how technology can improve patient care and business processes in our hospitals," said Mac McClurkan, Vice President and CIO of HealthEast. "It helps us avoid bottlenecks to better manage length of stay, reduce our diversions, claims denials and mitigate compliance risk."
The HealthEast centralized command center offers a bird’s eye view of patient status, with color-coded, time-stamped icons on images of all the hospitals' floor plans. The monitors in the command center broadcast real-time, at-a-glance information about patient status and location throughout the HealthEast hospitals. Monitors are also mounted in patient care areas and physician lounges at each hospital.
"Today, we have more patients coming in our doors, and they’re receiving more efficient, high-quality care," said McClurkan. "Our physicians are more satisfied because they're getting expedited patient placement. We're using the tool to help ensure regulatory compliance and have increased revenues. Transforming our system—through investment in technology, people and processes—has been a huge win for everyone at HealthEast."
The McKesson Distinguished Achievement Awards program is designed to recognize outstanding achievements by McKesson customers, including hospitals, physician practices and hospice/home health agencies. The applications are judge by an independent panel of third-party judges and each winner receives a $5,000 grant from McKesson to their Foundation or charity of choice. For more information visit: www.mckesson.com.
HealthEast is a community-focused health care system that provides innovative technology, compassionate care and a full spectrum of family health services. HealthEast includes Bethesda, St. John’s and St. Joseph’s Hospitals, Woodwinds Health Campus, outpatient services, home care, clinics, pharmacies, and medical transportation services. HealthEast is the largest, locally-owned health care provider in the Twin Cities’ East Metro, with 7,000 employees and more than 1,400 physicians on staff.
McKesson Corporation, currently ranked 14th on the FORTUNE 500, is a health care services and information technology company dedicated to helping its customers deliver high-quality health care by reducing costs, streamlining processes and improving the quality and safety of patient care.