SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


KGH Home Health "goes live" with electronic record


April 15, 2006

Ketchikan, Alaska - On April 3 the Ketchikan General Hospital (KGH) Home Health Department implemented an electronic medical record. This new software, called Horizon Homecare, will enable the Home Health clinicians to do real-time charting via laptop computers, while in patient homes or when they return to their vehicles.

All Home Health teams throughout PeaceHealth in the Pacific Northwest will implement Horizon Homecare, however Ketchikan's team was the first to "go live."

jgp Home Health

Christina Lukenbach, Home Health's Lead Customer Service Representative/Computer Analyst; Deborah O'Loane, Nurse Practitioner/Computer Analyst; and
Shannon Updike, RN, Home Health Manager...

The software was tested extensively last fall. Then, with a support team from the other PeaceHealth regions on site, the KGH team began the process of transitioning patient data from a primarily paper system to an on-line medical record, a process taking approximately 60 days. At go-live on April 3rd, Home Health clinicians began carrying laptops to patients' homes and entering their visit information in the new system. Beth Doddridge, LPN, had the privilege of making the first visit on the new system and Francine Werst, RN, admitted the first new patient into Horizon Homecare.

This change in the work process required much preparation and training for the Home Health staff. Deb O'Loane, Nurse Practitioner/Computer Analyst, headed up the clinical aspects of the software implementation, and Christina Lukenbach, Home Health's Lead Customer Service Representative/Computer Analyst, accepted responsibility for the technical aspects. They attended an extensive eight-part training course held in various PeaceHealth sites.

"I want to thank the KGH Home Health team for their dedication to this project," stated Shannon Updike, RN, Home Health Manager. "The teamwork and patience they have demonstrated throughout the process has been remarkable and heartwarming. This type of change is challenging and disruptive to normal work flow," she said, "but we are confident that these efforts will be well worth it in the long run."



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