Care One Initiative Takes Critical Steps in Implementation of Unified Clinical, Business Operations

The Care One initiative is a key effort to further unite as the Albany Med Health System. By implementing one System- wide electronic medical record (EMR) with Epic and enterprise resource planning platform (ERP) with Workday, we will elevate patient care in the Capital Region, build a more secure foundation for our health system, and better support our own workforce.

Unified ERP Paves the Way for Standardization, Collaboration

While the impact of Workday may not be as apparent in patient-facing locations as Epic, a single ERP platform will have a tremendous effect on behind-the-scenes operations that keep our System moving. From tracking finances to streamlining supply orders, Workday will bring together non-clinical processes across the System, heightening efficiency and creating more opportunity for transparency, growth, and collaboration.

“I can’t stress enough the value of having all members of the System using the same platform to understand data and identify future opportunities,” said Ladd Warwick, director of supply chain data integrity and technology for the Albany Med Health System and Supply Chain Domain lead for the Care One: ERP project.

The ERP project kicked off in March 2022 and is expected to go live this July at Albany Medical Center, Columbia Memorial Health, Glens Falls Hospital, and Saratoga Hospital. The System will use two Workday modules, one for finance and one for supply chain. Albany Medical Center will also continue using Workday for human resources.

Workday will mean a single source of truth for supply chain and finance operations across the System, consolidating processes currently being housed in several different ERPs. The platform will replace Lawson and BOXI at Albany Medical Center, Allscripts PPM at Glens Falls Hospital, and the supply chain and finance modules in Meditech at Saratoga Hospital and Columbia Memorial Health.

With Workday comes significant standardization. It will be the single platform that employees System- wide use to track and record expenses, procure items for their departments, complete cost center reports, and submit invoices, among other day-to-day tasks. For supply chain, there will be one item master file and list of suppliers—rather than one for each campus, a centralized inventory warehouse, consolidated purchasing and accounts payable as well as sourcing and contracts, and a new easy-to-use requisition process.

“We’re excited for the efficiencies we can gain by using a cutting edge, centralized system,” Warwick said. “We will have visibility to activity at all campuses and share supplies and resources in a much more seamless way than we do today.”

Due to how Workday operates compared to each hospital’s individual ERP system, Warwick said the number of suppliers has been reduced by about 80 percent and the item master file by 50 percent. Additionally, supply chain will rely less on paper documents as nearly all the operations will be electronic, from requisitioning to employee reimbursement.

“Documents can be attached and easily visible throughout the approval processes for requisitions, reimbursements, and direct supplier payment,” said Warwick. “This will help keep track of what is outstanding and what’s taken care of. Unknowns of whose desk a paper request are sitting on will not be an issue, and scanned receipts or quotes will ensure documents will not be forever lost.”

When Workday goes live, most financial operations will be consolidated into one system. It will be the single reporting and general ledger platform at each hospital campus. Our locations will also follow the standardized cost center naming conventions, which will help simplify pulling financial reports for similar departments across campuses.

Jennifer Bruzdzinski, Albany Medical Center controller and Finance Domain lead for the ERP project, said that working with different legacy systems is cumbersome and timely. With Workday, financial reports will be standard across the System, ensuring reporting is consistent and unified.

“In addition to the operational changes,” said Michele Kakely Skumurski, Albany Medical Center vice president of finance, “the consistent reporting that Workday delivers us will enhance our ability to perform System analytics and develop strong tools for future planning.”

System-wide EMR Begins to Take Shape

A single electronic medical record (EMR) platform will align clinical operations at each System hospital and practice location to boost the experience for both our patients and clinical workforce. Like Workday, Epic will encourage collaboration among staff while also offering patients more opportunities to be involved in their health care journey.

The benefits that Epic will have for patients and clinicians are closely inter- twined. A robust patient portal, MyChart, will allow patients to easily access their own health information. Meanwhile, a single record that follows the patient no matter where they receive care in the Albany Med Health System will prevent duplicative testing and paperwork as well as enhance coordination between members of the patient’s care team.

The project was in the third of four build waves through late March, with the build expected to conclude in May. This process involved the input of not only the project team and our partners at Epic, but more than 1,000 members of the workforce from across specialties and departments.

Luke Angell, DNP, RN, project manager at Columbia Memorial Health, is a member of several workgroups responsible for moving the Epic project forward and described the work as an extensive collaborative effort among System employees.

“I appreciate the time and energy hundreds of team members from across our health system are putting into the design of Epic,” said Angell. “With representation from each campus, we are building an electronic health record that incorporates best practices shared by each individual campus and Epic.”

As the build progresses, some of the specific ways in which our staff will use Epic have begun to emerge. To help ensure that patient information is kept up-to-date, clinical staff will have access to Epic’s mobile features such as Haiku, a secure mobile platform that allows clinicians to communicate with other members of the patient care team, and Rover, Epic’s non-physician mobile tool that assists with patient care tasks.

To facilitate the flow of patient information with health care organizations outside the Albany Med Health System, Epic’s Care Everywhere Network allows its clients to seamlessly exchange patient data such as history, lab results, and allergies. This feature will automatically query for patient records from other health care organizations within a set 175- mile radius when a patient is admitted, schedules an appointment, or arrives in the Emergency Department.

Epic will go live across the health system in 2024, first at Albany Medical Center in March followed by Columbia Memorial Health, Glens Falls Hospital, and Saratoga Hospital in September.