With the deadlines for Meaningful Use Stage II and ICD-10 rapidly approaching, the urgency to make sure your Paragon EHR system is up to date and properly implemented is greater than ever, and an upgrade could be in your near future. Thea Turner, one of Blue Eagle Consulting’s top McKesson Paragon consultants, weighs in with a few tips on how to make sure your organization can be prepared for this change.
Check Your Version Number
With Paragon 12 now generally available McKesson is no longer supporting releases 10.2 and earlier. Paragon contracts normally require customers to use a more recent version of the software in order to receive maintenance services. If it has been a while since your last upgrade, you will need to make sure that you can still receive the latest patches and updates from McKesson. Upgrading Paragon to Version 12 now will also help you achieve Stage II certification. The latest Paragon release is 2014 compliant in accordance with the criteria adopted by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Once the software is in place, you will have all the tools necessary for attestation of Meaningful Use by July 2014.
Assess Workflows Ahead of Time
The Paragon upgrade to version 12 consists of 1828 pages of Work Items in 55 chapters. There are more than 900 work orders that need to be tested for function as well as fit within your operation. If you know an upgrade is coming, spend some time with your staff now to discuss your current workflows, and how they will be impacted by the change. This is also a great time to iron out any inefficiencies that may be left over from your last upgrade or conversion.
All Hands on Deck
Paragon Version 12 requires build if you are planning on obtaining meaningful use with this upgrade. Making sure you have enough of the right people on the team is critical to ensuring the transition goes off without a hitch. It always helps to have a consultant or two available to advocate for the hospital throughout the process. Getting things right the first time is always less expensive than having to re-implement or optimize later on. Does your facility have the personnel it needs to build, test, and be ready for Stage II attestation by July 2014?
Manage the Bottom Line
It is easy to get distracted while you are building, testing, training, and working toward meaningful use during a software upgrade. Make sure you’re keeping an eye on the revenue stream. Your organization has to keep money coming through the door in order to give your patients the best care possible. The new order codes being created by Version 12 have to be coordinated with the charge that goes out the door. Your hospital needs people working with the clinical side to ensure that no billing opportunities are lost during the upgrade.
Preparing for and executing a major software implementation or upgrade can be daunting. By keeping your focus on a few key areas throughout the process, you can make sure your organization meets its certification deadlines, becomes more efficient, and maintains profitability.