MEDITECH Expanse is the current and most recent version of the MEDITECH electronic health record (EHR) or health information system (HIS). By far the most advanced, comprehensive suite of integrated applications that the vendor has ever brought to market, Expanse uses a workflow-based approach to data capture, user input, and reporting. Its features are simplified and streamlined, and the new cloud-based architecture supports multiuser and virtualization technologies, and meets user access demands seamlessly.
Overall, the industry has been giving MEDITECH Expanse high marks when compared with its competitors. The number of Expanse installations continue to grow, from both upgraded 6.x sites, new MEDITECH READY, and MEDITECH as a Service (MaaS) based installations. In fact, we have helped a number of hospitals and health systems upgrade to MEDITECH Expanse.
So how do you know when or if it is time to implement MEDITECH Expanse? If you answer “Yes” to these questions, then now might be the time to begin planning a move to MEDITECH Expanse.
1. Is your EHR limited in the ways it can handle the challenges and changes in healthcare today?
For organizations still running one of MEDITECH’s early software versions, such as MAGIC, Client Server or even the underdeveloped 6.0 version, now is the time to begin evaluating whether your current EHR is capable of helping you achieve your goals.
Our customers are consistent on the biggest reason to move to the Expanse system: It helps them achieve a singular electronic medical record across the acute and ambulatory setting. And achieving that improves patient care and their caregivers ability to provide it.
Additionally, the Expanse software contains many tools and workflow improvements that early versions simply cannot and do not provide. These improvements include a larger set of available clinical toolkits to help identify and notify clinicians of changing patient conditions or impending treatment changes. For the non-clinical user, the pervasiveness of desktops and worklist functionality has been heavily extended to improve workflow and present data and information in more legible formats. For example, no more dependence on printing 1000 page Account Trial Balance (ATB) reports.
2. Are your stakeholders, clinicians, patients and communities demanding more than what your EHR can deliver?
Through new clinical innovations and technical solutions, changes in clinical care procedures, and government and regulatory requirements, continually improving quality while containing costs is difficult to do. Perhaps more importantly, the expectation to improve the value of healthcare for patients, clinicians, and communities remains high.
MEDITECH Expanse offers multiple enhancements across the product suite that can help organizations make the most of their MEDITECH investment. For example, the Expanse platform includes a Web Physician user interface for the Acute and Emergency Department, which is similar to MEDITECH’s Web Ambulatory feature. We have seen the Web Physician user interface become a significant motivator for the upgrade to and adoption of Expanse across the Acute and Emergency Department, which ultimately helped increase physician satisfaction and utilization of the MEDITECH environment.
3. Is your EHR becoming more costly and risky to maintain and support?
Many of us have enjoyed a sense of stability in the MEDITECH space, even though we have experienced different versions over the years. Some facilities have used MEDITECH and MEDITECH MAGIC with custom features as their core software solution for decades. After such a long time, it can be difficult to consider another solution, because for the most part, it has worked out. After all, the investment was minimal and has more than proven cost-effective. The initial purchase or license and implementation costs were nominal compared to today, and the annual maintenance was very small relative to other IT maintenance costs for the organization.
Until recently, it was easy to find IT help with the application knowledge required to maintain the system with regulatory updates and security requirements. These skill sets are becoming hard to find these days as many sites have either moved on to more current platforms or technologies. Healthcare executives generally get what they need from the older systems to support daily operations, but maintenance is another story. And without proper maintenance, the risk factors multiply, including security gaps, data corruption, downtime, or outdated workflows that result in missed billing charges.
4. Are you missing out on new functionality that could help improve efficiency, satisfaction, and quality?
Deciding to continue using MEDITECH MAGIC or Client Server based systems means you will miss the opportunity to use new functionality. MEDITECH has slowed the development of new functionality for aging platforms or simply doesn’t have plans to release any new features. The Oncology application in MEDITECH Magic is one example of this situation. While the Oncology application made its debut in the Client Server platform and subsequently has been included in 6.0, 6.x and Expanse versions, it never really made its way into MAGIC in the same way or with the same footprint. As MEDITECH continues to push application development and systems functionality toward the WEB, the New WEB based Oncology in a Google Cloud presentation is in the early adopter phase now. Another example is the Ambulatory application, which was made available in version 6.15 but is much more robust in Expanse. The improvements in AMB Expanse are truly worth looking at. The integration is tighter and the data sharing actually works well. If you have or use the MEDITECH Ambulatory product, you need to look at migrating to the Expanse version today.
5. Could clinical toolkits within Expanse help you more easily achieve patient safety goals and workflow efficiencies?
Clinical toolkits featured pre-built workflows and recommended system configuration to address a variety of patient safety issues, and they helped identify types of patients who meet criteria based on data in various MEDITECH clinical applications. A starter set of these toolkits were ported to all active and supported versions of the software. Although Meditech has created many more and continues to add to the growing list of clinical toolkits, these additions will be made available only on the Expanse platform. This is the dawn of the age where all of the clinical data and information that has been entered into the EHR can now be used in a variety of ways to affect, alter, and improve patient care decisions.
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