Another OpenVistA Installation Goes Live - Cooper Green Mercy Hospital

Press Release | Medsphere Systems Corporation, Cooper Green Mercy Hospital | May 22, 2012

Jefferson County, AL, community hospital uses affordable, proven open source EHR to improve patient care without further straining county budgets

Birmingham, AL, and Carlsbad, CA—Medsphere Systems Corporation and Cooper Green Mercy Hospital today announced that Cooper Green has gone live on Medsphere’s OpenVista® open source electronic health record (EHR). With OpenVista now up and running, and enhancing the patient care provided by Cooper Green clinicians and staff, the hospital can devote full attention to meeting Stage One Meaningful Use requirements and qualifying for federal stimulus funds provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

The expectation, supported by the experience of other Medsphere customers , is that 319-bed Cooper Green will receive substantially more in federal reimbursement than Jefferson County’s initial five-year costs to acquire the system. Alabama’s largest county has faced significant financial challenges in recent years, making the improvement of both patient care and financial performance crucially important.

“What Cooper Green Hospital is accomplishing in the face of Jefferson County’s extreme budgetary challenges is nothing short of remarkable,” said Medsphere President and CEO Irv Lichtenwald.  “Hospital CEO Dr. Sandral Hullett and county leaders should be commended for improving patient care without adding to budgetary shortfalls. The successful implementation of the OpenVista EHR at Cooper Green is a compelling example of responsible decision-making. Especially in these troubled economic times, public hospitals can still improve care without making financial matters worse for local government.”

Cooper Green selected the OpenVista EHR and Stockell Healthcare’s Insight CS financial and patient accounting solution as a replacement for Meditech. In addition to the ability to cover their initial five-year health IT costs through federal reimbursement, the hospital also looks forward to more financially manageable operating expenses as all upgrades, enhancements and support are included in Medsphere’s subscription-based pricing model.

“I want to express my deep gratitude to Cooper Green clinicians and staff for the hard work they’ve put in on our OpenVista implementation project. They’ve really embraced the change, which is essential to making the system work,” said Dr. Hullett. “These are tough times in Jefferson County, and we feel fortunate that we were able to implement a comprehensive EHR without paying multimillions of dollars. Honestly, we could not have done that, so the OpenVista EHR was both timely and welcome.”

In partnership with Medsphere, Cooper Green will soon begin using OpenVista to closely track Meaningful Use requirements such as use of Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE) for medication orders, drug-drug and drug-allergy interactions, and electronic prescribing. Medsphere and Cooper Green collaborated during implementation and training on workflow process redesign, which will continue to ensure improved clinical efficiency and Meaningful Use success.

About Cooper Green Mercy Hospital

Cooper Green Mercy Hospital offers a complete range of health care services for the residents of Jefferson County, with its fees based on family size and income. On an outpatient basis, it offers a full range of primary care and specialty services, such as general surgery, urology, orthopedics, ENT, ophthalmology, obstetrics and gynecology, cardiology, pulmonary, nephrology, and hematology/oncology. Cooper Green Mercy Hospital also offers inpatient services, a fully staffed and accredited emergency room, rehabilitation services, a complete range of diagnostic services, and social services. All care is provided by full-time, board-certified staff physicians. Services not directly provided by Cooper Green Mercy Hospital, such as cardiac catheterization or bypass surgery, are coordinated through the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital. In addition to the clinics located in the Medical Center District, Cooper Green also operates two primary care clinics based in the community.

About Medsphere and OpenVista 

Founded in 2002 and based in Carlsbad, Calif., Medsphere Systems Corporation is an award-winning organization of clinical and technology professionals working to make quality health IT solutions accessible to organizations of virtually any size, shape or budget. Medsphere’s OpenVista® is a portfolio of clinical support products and professional services that leverages an electronic health record (EHR) system developed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. This VistA EHR is widely credited with helping transform the VA into the nation's most efficient and clinically effective healthcare organization. OpenVista, the most fully commercialized VistA offspring, is a responsible reapplication of the VA’s $8.5 billion investment, which recent studies show have yielded $3.09 billion in benefits, primarily from the near elimination of medication administration issues and duplicate testing.  

Medsphere’s subscription-based pricing model enables hospital, clinic and integrated delivery network customers to pay for OpenVista from their operating budget with no upfront costs or back-end balloon payments. Expert implementation and other services facilitate fluid and rapid transition to a paperless clinical environment focusing on best practices and evidence-based medicine in six to nine months. Medsphere also actively nurtures the Healthcare Open Source Ecosystem, a global community of customers, partners, developers and other online collaborators who drive OpenVista innovation, and provide a parallel development and support structure.