Singing River Hospital System engages McKesson for comprehensive clinical quality initiative

San Francisco 18 September 2002As part of a comprehensive strategic plan focused on the quality of community care and enhancement of patient safety, Singing River Hospital System (SRHS) including Singing River Hospital and Ocean Springs Hospital in Jackson County, Mississippi, has contracted for the Horizon Clinicals suite from McKesson Corporation. Horizon Clinicals is McKesson's comprehensive suite of next-generation, integrated solutions for physicians and other clinicians.


The investment includes physician solutions such as clinical decision support and computerised physician order entry as well as Web-based and mobile physician access to patient information. Singing River Hospital System (SRHS) will also implement nursing productivity tools, including clinical documentation and medication administration. In addition, the health system will deploy a comprehensive electronic medical record solution, enterprise pharmacy management and emergency care management.

"To continue to raise the standard of care to the highest national level for our community, we must invest in systems which help clinicians deliver high-quality, cost-effective care", stated Chris Anderson, chief executive officer for SRHS. "Given the size and complexity of our clinical quality initiatives, McKesson is the logical partner to help us achieve our objectives. McKesson's comprehensive approach includes the software applications, services and expertise required to make this strategic undertaking a success."

For SRHS, one of the key selection criteria was the ability to address the Institute of Medicine recommendations for medication safety using McKesson's "closed-loop" approach to medication management. McKesson is the industry's only single-source provider to address medication safety issues with a unique, comprehensive approach that integrates automation, bar-code scanning and information technology. As a result, organisations can automate every step of the medication management process: prescribing, transcribing, dispensing, administering, and monitoring.

"Ensuring medication safety was a primary reason for choosing McKesson", stated JuDee Stanford, R.N., information systems clinical director for SRHS. "But I believe McKesson's solutions will also help us improve overall quality. I've been a nurse for 30 years, and this is the most comprehensive approach I have seen for using automation to assist physicians, nurses and other caregivers in transforming the care process. The ability to automate the entire patient record so that longitudinal information is available to clinicians anytime they need it will greatly benefit patients in our community."

To provide caregivers with real time clinical decision support that may reduce variation in care delivery, the health system will also implement Horizon Expert Orders, McKesson's clinical decision support and computerised physician order entry product. Horizon Expert Orders' unique, easy-to-use work flow contains embedded clinical knowledge that combines patient-specific information with experience-based, national and local best practices. This clinical knowledge, known as the Horizon Knowledge Center, is a rich library of clinical protocols, diagnostically appropriate order outlines, rules, treatment advisories, and reference information.

SRHS's staged rollout of McKesson solutions is designed to facilitate clinician adoption and accelerate time to value. "Our schedule will provide wins along the way, especially for our physicians", stated Carl Cloer, director of information systems for SRHS. "We'll start with remote access to patient information, including the ability to sign medical charts electronically and view patient data on mobile devices as physicians conduct hospital rounds. The technology will give us the highest level of security available for protecting the privacy of patient medical records. Then we will progress toward Horizon Expert Orders, which will provide the physicians with real time clinical decision support as they treat patients."

Carl Cloer sees the solutions as fundamental to the mission of SRHS. "We are a community hospital system, so on any given day we admit patients who are my neighbours, my friends or my relatives", he stated. "That is a strong incentive to make sure that the patient care you deliver is the best it can be in terms of safety, outcomes, patient satisfaction, and cost efficiency."

Singing River Hospital System serves the health care needs of the Mississippi Gulf Coast through its two Jackson County facilities. Singing River Hospital in Pascagoula has a capacity of 415 beds, while Ocean Springs Hospital has 124 beds. The two hospitals form a hospital system which is one of the most comprehensive in Mississippi and along the entire Gulf Coast.

More McKesson news is available in this VMW issue's article Duke University Medical Center chooses McKesson's Horizon Clinicals to enhance safety and efficiency.

Leslie Versweyveld

[Medical IT News][Calendar][Virtual Medical Worlds Community][News on Advanced IT]