Navigating a Successful Shift to Value-Based Care
Whitepaper Jul 02, 2021
With a strong partner, it was much easier to pick up the pieces after each blow and say, ‘OK, here’s what we need to do to get back on track.’ They were there with us to help carve a new path and their cloud hosting ensured we could always access the system.Meg Jackson, BHS Director of IT
Beauregard Health System (BHS) in DeRidder, Louisiana, has served Beauregard Parish and the surrounding communities since 1946. With a mission to improve the health and well-being of people in southwest Louisiana, BHS continues evolving as a premier health and wellness service provider. After deciding to change its electronic health record (EHR) provider, BHS began looking for a full solution partner to provide EHR cloud hosting and implementation consulting services.
In early 2020, BHS leadership began in-person training on their new EHR platform. Leaders at BHS recognized the magnitude of changes that would occur in their system and knew this on-site training was pivotal for their team to develop the required experience. Simultaneously, Tegria worked to complete the build-out of their new EHR servers and infrastructure at their nearby data center in Dallas, Texas.
Back in Louisiana, BHS received its EHR software delivery on the same day COVID-19 was declared a pandemic. At this point, most of the BHS IT staff transitioned to a fully remote work setting, making its training sessions fraught with difficulty. On top of the inherent problems of working in a hospital setting during a pandemic, the care staff had to rely on video conferencing for virtual training on their new EHR system.
BHS quickly learned a key benefit of hosting its new EHR in the cloud. Cloud hosting ensured system availability was accessible from anywhere so that the implementation could continue while staff worked remotely. As long as staff could find an internet connection, the system could be accessed securely. They would soon realize other benefits as more challenges emerged.
As BHS became comfortable with its remote work and training arrangement, the hospital experienced a surge in COVID-19 cases. As a result, staff focus was directed away from the new EHR to clinical needs. Just as the COVID-19 surge began to slow, the community had to deal with another catastrophic blow. Hurricane Laura, a dangerous Category 4 storm, devastated the region with 150 mph winds and storm surges of almost 10 feet. Many hospital staff members were displaced, without electricity and power, and unable to work from home. Administrators at BHS worked tirelessly to provide access to safe workspace for its staff, but progress on the new EHR slowed during the subsequent weeks.
Our team came on-site to support BHS four weeks after Hurricane Laura hit, helping the hospital get back on track for their go-live date of January 1, 2021. Despite playing catch-up, we were able to help reset the team and accelerate some of the last mission-critical steps. However, two weeks after our group left, DeRidder was affected by Hurricane Delta, a Category 2 storm. As the community began to rebuild for a second time, BHS’ EHR implementation took a backseat to helping its neighbors through another devastating natural disaster. The area isn’t a stranger to hurricane impacts, but during a pandemic, the disruption was exacerbated.
The benefits of a cloud-hosted EHR became crystal clear throughout these natural disasters. As the hospital went significant periods without reliable electricity and water, they had confidence knowing the availability of their EHR would never be a problem. Having their EHR in the cloud ensured business continuity without disruption to patient care in critical times of need.
“The team was so great and very accommodating,” said Meg Jackson, Director of Information Technology at BHS. “When everything was blown out of the water with regards to dates, they made it work by adjusting their schedules and getting down here to be side-by-side with us and help with our training.” With the surge in COVID-19 cases, nursing administrators were unable to focus their efforts on training the nursing staff as originally planned, so Tegria stepped in to ensure EHR training for all providers could continue. Jackson recalls, “Even though that wasn’t a part of our initial contract, they really stepped up to help us keep things moving during the hardest days.”
“When everything was blown out of the water with regards to dates, they made it work by adjusting their schedules and getting down here to be side-by-side with us and help with our training.”Meg Jackson, BHS Director of IT
BHS chose Tegria as its partner for EHR hosting and implementation services. Along the way, they discovered a dedicated team of individuals who stood alongside BHS staff during three catastrophic events. As the go-live date approached, the Tegria team returned to DeRidder to ensure everything went as planned.
Since going live, BHS has thankfully not experienced any insurmountable obstacles or natural disasters. Reflecting on the decision to move forward with Tegria as their EHR partner, Jackson said, “Thinking back to last year, we had no idea what would come our way. The pandemic, the storms, there was no way to be prepared for any of it. With a strong partner, it was much easier to pick up the pieces after each blow and say, ‘OK, here’s what we need to do to get back on track.’ They were there with us to help carve a new path, and their cloud hosting ensured we could always access the system. Without them, I don’t know if we would have been nearly as successful.”