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Report Details Western Connecticut Health Network’s EHR Transition Problems

March 19, 2018
by Rajiv Leventhal
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The Danbury, Conn.-based Western Connecticut Health Network has experienced an array of scheduling and medical service issues since the healthcare system completed its Cerner EHR (electronic health record) implementation earlier this month, according to a report in the News-Times.

The report included interviews with two patients—out of many others—who have been complaining about problems reaching doctors, scheduling appointments and obtaining other services since the Western Connecticut Health Network upgraded its EHR system at the beginning of the month.

It was announced back in September 2015 that Western Connecticut Health Network would implement Cerner’s full-suite EHR system to replace multiple existing software systems from various vendors. But the go-live date didn’t occur until March 3 of this year.

The health network, which includes three hospitals and a physician medical group, has conceded that there have been problems. According to the News-Times report, WCHN officials said in a statement, “Patients are receiving the same great clinical care that they have always received. As with any large-scale technology transition, the true test comes when staff begin using the new system. While our providers adjust to this new technology, patients may notice longer wait or appointment times or increased presence of support staff.”

One example of patients experiencing issues, according to the report, is a woman who took her 93-year-old mother to Danbury Hospital for a scheduled blood transfusion recently, but a “computer glitch” meant they had to wait four hours for the procedure to begin. And by the time that service began, there was only enough time to transfuse just one pint of blood, meaning another appointment would be needed for the rest.

Another patient needed to schedule appointments with her primary care doctor and the specialist who treats her for her kidney disease, but gave up after waiting on the phone for 90 minutes, according to the report.

You can read the full report from the News-Times right here.

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