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McKesson Customers Share ARRA Stage 1 Keys to Success with Peers

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Healthcare IT news Whether large community or critical access, hospitals rely on strong governance to meet ARRA objectives

ATLANTA, Jan. 13, 2012 – Senior leader support, physician alignment and daily monitoring of analytics scorecards – all are key success factors cited by hospitals who recently attested to meet the Stage 1 Medicare criteria outlined under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Among those first-year strivers are hospitals that use the Horizon Clinicals® and Paragon® electronic health record (EHR) and Quality eMeasures reporting solutions from McKesson. McKesson’s customers have been busy advising peers on everything from governance to physician alignment to workflow changes.

“We worked closely with McKesson until we were ready to attest, so we now have 2012 to focus on ICD-10 and other challenges,” said Richard Ferrans, MD, vice president and chief medical information officer of Memorial Hospital in Gulfport, Miss. “When you’re implementing workflow changes, support is critical. For us, the winning combination has included executive champions who understand the value of technology, physicians dedicated to making it work, and a vendor partner that’s truly committed to our success.”

Eligible hospitals must demonstrate that they meet 19 objectives focused on both IT adoption and clinical quality measures. The data must be calculated by a certified EHR. Horizon Clinical and Paragon EHR solutions were certified last year by the Drummond Group's EHR ONC Authorized Testing and Certification Body program.

Many McKesson customers have had EHRs or components of EHRs in place for years. The difference is that now Medicare and Medicaid incentives are available to qualifying hospitals and physicians and facilitate moving them forward together, toward the same standards for data exchange and adoption. Once providers start routinely sharing portable, up-to-date medical information on a large scale, patients should reap the benefits.

“We began our EHR journey long before any mention of ARRA or stimulus dollars,” said Joe Freudenberger, chief executive officer, OakBend Medical Center. “We believed from the start that we were well-positioned, with strong governance and cross-functional teams focused on the goal. Our clinicians understood that we were serious about using information technology (IT) to improve the delivery of care, and McKesson supported us in reaching the necessary adoption levels and performance metrics.”

To assist the organizations in working through each ARRA objective, McKesson hosted webinars and supplied content design guides, workflow diagrams, intra-shift reports for identifying missing documentation and scorecards for tracking performance against thresholds.

Internal competition was one proven strategy for spurring adoption. Centra, in Lynchburg, Va., effectively used scorecards to track their performance. The hospital assigned each objective to a senior executive. For example, the chief nursing officer was assigned vital signs and advance directives while the chief medical officer monitored computerized physician order entry and the chief financial officer tracked preliminary cause of death. They knew their scores would be displayed at the beginning of each staff meeting, so they would call their director of clinical information in advance and ask what they needed to do to reach their numbers.

“This level of automation and workflow change is a real game-changer for IT staff and frontline clinicians alike,” said Dave Souerwine, president, McKesson Provider Technologies. “For these hospitals, this is not just an IT project; it’s a clinical transformation project. We feel very privileged to have the opportunity to contribute to this important milestone for our customers.”

About ARRA

The federal government has allocated $27 billion to encourage the health care industry to adopt information technology in three stages through 2015. To qualify for funds, hospitals and physicians practices must meet standards related to improving quality, safety, efficiency and reducing health disparities; engaging patients and families in their care; improving care coordination; improving population and public health; and maintaining privacy and security.

About McKesson

McKesson Corporation, currently ranked 15th on the FORTUNE 500, is a healthcare services and information technology company dedicated to making the business of healthcare run better. We partner with payers, hospitals, physician offices, pharmacies, pharmaceutical companies and others across the spectrum of care to build healthier organizations that deliver better care to patients in every setting. McKesson helps its customers improve their financial, operational, and clinical performance with solutions that include pharmaceutical and medical-surgical supply management, healthcare information technology, and business and clinical services. For more information, visit

Media contact:

Yancey Casey


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