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VITL Helps Newport Physician Achieve Meaningful Use

Only four months after implementing an electronic health record, Leslie Lockridge, MD, of Newport has attested to Stage 1 Meaningful Use of his new EHR. The oncologist/hematologist and his staff reached the milestone so quickly with a lot of hard work, and assistance from the VITL eHealth Services Team.

VITL eHealth Specialist Christine Sweeny met with Dr. Lockridge and his staff almost every week beginning in September 2013. At first, Sweeny helped the practice with setting up the new EHR and learning its various functions. She also discussed reports generated from the EHR, conducted a security risk assessment, and assisted the practice with developing a set of policies.

As the project progressed, the work shifted to reviewing clinical quality measures and implementing clinical decision support rules in the EHR, which automatically generate notifications and care suggestions. At least one clinical decision support rule must be implemented to achieve meaningful use.

By late December, Dr. Lockridge was ready to attest to meaningful use. “Everybody thought we were nuts to attempt this in such a short time, but we did it,” said Danielle Wright, clinic manager. “We wouldn’t have been able to do it without VITL. Chris Sweeny provided a lot of good guidance. She’s been a tremendous asset.” One of the most valuable things that Sweeny did, she said, was provide advice on how to work with the practice’s EHR vendor. With pointers from Sweeny, the practice was able to give the vendor valuable feedback and it made the implementation process go much smoother.

With the EHR now in place, Dr. Lockridge and his staff are saving time by not pulling as many paper charts. When he is at the hospital, the physician can quickly use the web-based EHR to securely access his patients’ records. Having 24/7 access to patient information from any location means the “quality of care for patients will be much better,” said Wright.

Now that the attestation for Stage 1 Meaningful Use has been completed, Wright says the practice will continue meeting with Sweeny on a bi-weekly basis to expand use of the EHR into additional areas.