Foothills Health Information Network and Oconee Memorial Hospital select McKesson for e-prescribing and Electronic Health Records

Atlanta 09 February 2006Foothills Health Information Network and Oconee Memorial Hospital have signed an innovative agreement to utilize McKesson's practice management, electronic prescribing and ambulatory electronic health record (EHR) solutions. Foothills' unique, physician-led technology initiative will link community physicians together with the Oconee Memorial Hospital and other local health care service providers in the Seneca, South Carolina, area via a virtual private network. The arrangement is designed to speed the adoption of electronic health records across the community to achieve greater continuity of care and enhanced patient safety. As part of the arrangement, Foothills will facilitate access to needed software by physicians, while providing maintenance and technical support.

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Plans call for Foothills to leverage the existing technology infrastructure at Oconee Memorial Hospital to deliver an integrated EHR to Foothills provider participants. Once complete, the project will seamlessly connect participating physician offices and other participating service providers with secure, easy access to co-ordinated patient information enabling them to make more informed treatment decisions.

"By providing physicians with access to a connected clinical solution, we are making it much easier for all our provider participants to adopt a system that eventually will be integrated with Oconee Memorial's own EHR", stated Stanley A. Rampey, M.D., chairman of Foothills and Oconee Memorial Hospital's immediate past Chief of Staff. "As a medical community we can create compatibility that standardizes processes and enhances treatment outcomes through a seamless patient experience. The adoption of this technology will help us as physicians work more collaboratively to the ultimate benefit of our patients and our community."

After a comprehensive review process, Foothills chose to offer Horizon Practice Plus, McKesson's physician practice management solution, to support administrative processes, such as patient registration and scheduling and claims processing. The first step will be implementation of McKesson's e-prescribing solution to create immediate clinical benefits and establish a platform to implement ultimately McKesson's complete ambulatory EHR system - Horizon Ambulatory Care. This modular implementation path will enable Foothills' vision of offering a full electronic health record connecting physicians with one another, as well as with the hospital, payers, reference laboratories, free-standing outpatient services providers, pharmacy benefit managers and retail pharmacies.

"We are very pleased that our physicians have been the driving force in the adoption of electronic health records for patients", stated Jeanne L. Ward, Chief Executive Officer of Oconee Memorial. "They are visionary and eager to be involved in improving the health of our community. Oconee Memorial Hospital's support for this solution is an integral part of our own ongoing programme for enhanced patient safety and greater operational efficiency. The use of electronic health records will make possible a better patient experience as information moves seamlessly and efficiently across care settings."

"Foothills, Oconee Memorial Hospital, and area physicians recognized the importance of connectivity between all health care providers and care settings in adopting electronic health records", stated Tom Leonard, senior vice president, Ambulatory Solutions, McKesson Provider Technologies. "We are proud to be their chosen technology partner. Their decision to work with McKesson further validates our belief that high-value, proven applications installed in an incremental way are the right path for lasting adoption of EHRs by physicians."

Founded more than 65 years ago, the 122 bed Oconee Memorial Hospital has a staff of more than 140 physicians in 25 specialities. Today it provides a wide range of health care services including surgical, rehabilitation, a comprehensive centre for pain management, school-based health care clinics, home health and hospice services, and operates the county's Emergency Medical Service.

Foothills Health Information Network is a not-for-profit organisation formed to foster the adoption of automated solutions such as electronic health records among the provider community.

McKesson Corporation 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. Over the course of its 173-year history, McKesson has grown by providing pharmaceutical and medical-surgical supply management across the spectrum of care; health care information technology for hospitals, physicians, homecare, and payers; hospital and retail pharmacy automation; and services for manufacturers and payers designed to improve outcomes for patients. More news is available in this VMW issue's article Horizon Patient Kiosk expands personal health management suite.


Leslie Versweyveld

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