Hospital to welcome multimillion dollar technology upgrade

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 10, 2021

LUTCHER — St. James Parish Hospital is in the final weeks of a nine-month long Electronic Health Record refresh. “Project Refresh” will revolutionize the way the hospital does business so that the patient experience is more connected, coordinated and convenient. The hospital’s multimillion dollar technology upgrade is set to go live next month.

An Electronic Health Record (EHR) is a collection of digitally-stored health information “charts.” The hospital, ER and clinics currently each use different systems to store patient data. A new solution, created by Cerner, will replace multiple systems—seamlessly connecting patient information through the entire continuum of care. Reduced paperwork, more efficient processes and better coordination will help the hospital take patient care to the next level.

The new EHR solution will utilize one platform for all patient records. Whether you are seen in the ER, have a wellness visit at a clinic or come in for an x-ray, all of your information will be housed in one system that you will be able to access through one patient portal.

Once the new system is live, patients will be invited to join the portal through the registration process. The hospital will also share an external link for previous patients to create an account. The upgraded portal will offer patients access to information such as test results, medications and bills, in addition to allowing patients to request appointments, message physician offices and fill out certain forms in advance. The hospital’s patient care team will have access to historical patient data, but the new portal will house information from new visits on.

Patients will have the option to pay bills through the portal or use a quick pay link which will show all hospital, clinic and ER charges as one balance. Independent providers such as ER physicians and radiologists will still bill separately for services.

Project Refresh involves the hospital’s entire team. A learning curve is expected as the new technology is mastered, but patient care will always be the hospital’s top priority. In preparation for the project, the hospital hired staff, changed roles and created teams.

The hospital’s new technology is through Cerner—one of the top companies in the EHR market. Cerner has over 29,000 employees and 40 years of experience in healthcare information technology. In addition to being a top-ranked vendor, Cerner offers a unique understanding of small hospitals in rural communities.

The hospital’s EHR upgrade, which will be live at the end of August, is an investment in the future of healthcare in the community. Visit www.sjph.org/projectrefresh and follow the hospital on Facebook for ongoing EHR updates.