EHR performance issues impacted clinical workflows and patient care.


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• Enhanced EHR performance
• Increased physician satisfaction
• Decreased system lag
• Improved issue resolution

Torrance Memorial Health System (TMHS) is a non-profit top-honored hospital and medical center providing world-class care to patients in the South Bay and beach city communities of Los Angeles County. Barry Sheppard is the Senior Director of Information Systems (IS), responsible for driving the organization’s IS strategy and leading a team of IS professionals who support 600 staff members, including approximately 180 physicians.

After implementing NextGen, TMHS began experiencing system performance issues, particularly in the clinical component of the charts which disrupted the flow of patient visits. “Our physicians were impacted the most by the system lags, and were the most vocal about it because they utilize the EHR during each patient visit. It’s difficult to maintain eye contact with the patient and keep dialogue flowing smoothly while they wait for the system to catch up,” said Barry Sheppard. “This became frustrating for physicians, since it is essential for them to work efficiently when managing a large volume of patients. If they can’t stay on time because of a system lag, appointments are delayed.”

TMHS looked for a partner to help them improve system performance and quickly resolve issues to boost physician satisfaction and ensure timely patient care. TMHS first met with ITelagen at a NextGen User Group Meeting in 2012. After a period of due diligence, TMHS determined ITelagen was the best fit. “We considered several candidates,” comments Barry Sheppard. “After carefully reviewing documentation and SLAs, we decided ITelagen could provide the system stability and responsive support we needed.”

In 2012, TMHS partnered with ITelagen for cloud hosting and support for its IS department, who in turn supports end users. From the beginning, ITelagen has focused on creating a stable environment that enables TMHS users to deliver efficient, high-quality patient care. “We don’t have the frequency of lag issues that we experienced before,” says Barry Sheppard. “And when a problem does arise, ITelagen is responsive and works with us to address it quickly. It is reassuring to know that we’ve partnered with experts that put skin in the game and are willing to troubleshoot any issue until it is resolved.”

Going forward, Barry will increasingly look to ITelagen for strategic guidance to help TMHS plan for and manage its expanding operations. “We are a relatively small department with limited resources and a lot of people to support,” says Barry Sheppard. “We will continue to rely on ITelagen to keep the system functioning optimally each day, plus leverage their expertise to help us proactively upgrade and expand resources to best manage database growth.”

Partnering with ITelagen enables TMHS to achieve its goals of continually improving system performance and user satisfaction. It also allows the IS team to pursue strategic projects that add value to the organization, instead of spending time solving problems. “I used to come in on Monday morning wondering what was going to go wrong this week,” adds Barry Sheppard. “Now, I have a high level of confidence that the system is reliable and users have uninterrupted access. Dealing with performance issues is non-productive time and we don’t do that anymore thanks to ITelagen.”