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Modernizing Ochsner Health System's Health Information System (HIS)

Healthcare | Applications Staffing

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Ochsner Health System, a large non-profit organization dedicated to patient care, research and education, partners with TEKsystems to update its Health Information System (HIS).

Ochsner Health System is a non-profit, academic, multi-specialty healthcare delivery system dedicated to patient care, research and education. Headquartered in New Orleans, this healthcare system includes eight hospitals and over 35 health centers located throughout southeast Louisiana. Ochsner has more than 11,000 employees system-wide. TEKsystems has partnered with Ochsner for more than 15 years.
Siemens’ Invision Health Information Systems; EHR/EMR
Due to recent acquisitions and other business decisions, Ochsner Health System was searching for ways to streamline operations and cut costs. as a part of this initiative, the company conducted an assessment of its Health Information System (HIS) and determined that modernizing this system would provide significant cost savings, as well as offer new and better functionality to its users. The HIS is vital to business operations as the company uses it to track the entire patient experience, from the patient registration process to documenting services rendered, drugs administered, discharge and follow up.

Updating from the mainframe-driven HIS to a new Web-based front-end presented a number of challenges. The company lacked the internal expertise to manage and execute the migration and decided to outsource. After about a year and a half and $600,000 spent on contractors, the contracted developers were struggling to produce gains. At this time the company decided to contact TEKsystems, based on our depth of capabilities across various IT skill sets.

TEKsystems was able to leverage our understanding of Ochsner’s business and objectives to facilitate a smooth transition and get the project back on track. Our first task was to recruit a Siemens Invision/OAS Gold developer. Because this skill set is very specialized, we knew it would be necessary to look beyond our national borders to leverage our pool of international resources. We identified a highly qualified, former nurse who understood the system from a user perspective and also possessed the technical skills needed to be successful in this role. We were able to work with the client to craft a compelling Employee Value Proposition, which prompted this candidate’s decision to not only commit to the project, but also to commute between his home in the Philippines and a part-time residence in New Orleans.  

With this critical role filled, we began the work of migrating Ochsner to the new system. This task consisted of replicating the screens from the mainframe session and coding them in Net-access so they could be viewed in a Web-based front-end. Leveraging proficiency in Lean Process Methodology, Six Sigma process improvement and OAS Gold development tools, we programmed and customized the system for each of the member hospitals. The system is used daily by the nurses, doctors and frontline staff, so to minimize downtime, it was necessary to utilize a phased approach to implementation. We decided to pilot the system in the hospital’s radiology department. Upon monitoring performance, we then expanded the system into the other departments and finally into the sister locations.

As a result of its partnership with TEKsystems to deploy the system, Ochsner estimates that it will save upward of $250,000 per year over the life of project. Thus far, the client is already experiencing a marked improvement in the user experience through a more robust user interface and more intuitive navigation. Additionally, users are able to capture a greater level of patient data, obtain better accuracy and reliability of the data and seamlessly integrate with the company’s billing, payroll and other internal systems.

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