Hiawatha Community Hospital to replace McKesson EHR with athenaNET

Hiawatha (Kan.) Community Hospital is slated to transition to an athenahealth EHR Sept. 11, replacing the McKesson EHR the hospital has used for nearly six years, Hiawatha World Online reports.

The hospital's board of trustees, providers, department managers and staff have been preparing for the athenahealth go-live since September 2017.

Prior to deciding to implement athenahealth, members of the board expressed concerns related to the hospital's current EHR system, a Paragon EHR from McKesson. The board said the financial cost of working with the Paragon EHR was not sustainable, and noted that the platform would no longer be supported as of January 2018, according to Hiawatha World Online.

In October 2017, Allscripts acquired McKesson's health IT business for $185 million. Under the agreement, Allscripts said it would continue to invest in and offer McKesson's Paragon EHR as an integrated EHR and revenue cycle management solution for the small hospital market segment.

From a clinical standpoint, hospital officials also said they wanted to implement an EHR system with a patient portal.

After evaluating the annual cost of athenahealth's athenaNET EHR, the board voted unanimously to support Hiawatha Community Hospital's transition to the system.

"The athenahealth system is expected to simplify the patient admissions process, streamline patient encounters and improve billing processes," Andy Delaney, chairman of the hospital's board, told Hiawatha World Online.

"An example of this is that once patients are fully on the new athena EHR program, care provided within the clinic, [emergency room] and hospital will be combined and reviewable on only one bill, versus the multiple bills some patients are receiving today," he continued.

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