At the beginning, EHR was just a pinpoint of light at the end of a very long tunnel for Axis Community Health. Axis initiated EHR planning back in July 2011. The team met weekly and worked with Linda, Mark from CHCN and NextGen to prepare. Associate Medical Dr. Divya Raj (who was recently appointed Medical Director) guided the clinical aspects, partnering with CIO Brian Castro who oversaw the technical side. Their leadership championed the cause.
The structure also involved COO Christina McFadden and QI Coordinator Sylvia Madrid, as well as other clinic and IT staff. Axis used a model of committees including: implementation, workflow, and communications. By using communications strategies, Axis engaged the entire organization in understanding and supporting the effort.
When Axis went live at its first site in April 2012 there was trepidation…and great celebration. Axis rolled out each of its six teams at the two clinic sites over 3.5 months. An intensive 7-day training for each team proceeded their launch. Staff were very happy with the training received and the food supplied at each training.
Axis started chart abstraction in April 2012. So far Axis has abstracted 4600 charts and is seeing a decrease in the number of paper charts being routed. This has enabled Axis to reassign people from medical records to other departments.
While there were bumps along the way, the end result has been illuminating. Axis is thrilled about achieving this significant transformation. (Psst: The secret to success was offering food at every possible occasion!)