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Prairie Lakes Reaches Meaningful Use Milestone

Jan 05, 2015 06:44PM ● By MED Magazine

Prairie Lakes Healthcare System in Watertown recently became the first healthcare facility in the state of South Dakota to attest for Stage Two Meaningful Use. Prairie Lakes is also one of only 19% of eligible hospitals in the nation to have successfully attested to Stage Two within the original time period.

“This milestone is an outcome of Prairie Lakes’ continual improvement of its healthcare services and technologies,” says Jill Fuller, President and CEO of Prairie Lakes.

Staff at Prairie Lakes took a team approach to complete the objectives. An interdisciplinary team worked to identify and apply enhanced applications of Prairie Lakes’ EMR system. In 

 addition, attestation required work flow changes, strategies to foster patient engagement, and working with other care providers to set up paths for information exchange and a level of interoperability for the different EMR systems.

In addition, the objectives of Meaningful Use have led to the development of Patient Portal where patients who have been hospitalized can view their allergies, immunizations, active and inactive medications, health history, and test results.

“It was inspiring to watch our team embrace the Meaningful Use challenge and take it ‘head on’,” says Kristi Osthus, Director of Health Information Management. “We were determined to meet our attestation goal for Stage Two Meaningful Use and when we came across an obstacle we were not afraid to take a detour and try a new process.”

Shelly Turbak, Chief Nursing Officer added, “Success was realized because of the efforts and problem solving attitude of the interdisciplinary team and the agile change culture at Prairie Lakes.  CPSI also provided direction and timely assistance when needed.”

But attesting to Stage Two was not without challenges, including a significant culture change. “It didn't come without major obstacles and daily challenges to change processes,” says Deb Pederson, Director of CCU and Respiratory Therapy. “Because of teamwork, those processes became a part of our daily practice,”

Prairie Lakes staff feel a high sense of accomplishment to be the first hospital in South Dakota But attestation is just the beginning. Technology is continually changing; Prairie Lakes and all healthcare facilities must be proactive and anticipate those changes.

“Maintaining requirements of Meaningful Use does not end with attestation,” says Shelly Turbak. “Prairie Lakes works each day to ensure ongoing compliance. This makes certain we will continue to improve EMR use and interoperability, meet or even exceed Stage Two Meaningful Use requirements, and be in a position to address Stage Three Meaningful Use when those requirements are released by CMS.”

Meaningful Use is a nationwide program with three stages of objectives to use certified electronic health records (EHR) technology to improve quality and efficiency of care, engage patients and family, improve care coordination, and improve population health.