Ga. hospi­tal CEO re­signs af­ter bumpy EHR roll­out

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS - Dar­ius Tahir

Athens (Ga.) Re­gional Med­i­cal Cen­ter Pres­i­dent and CEO James Thaw re­signed amid com­plaints from the med­i­cal staff that his ad­min­is­tra­tion bun­gled the im­ple­men­ta­tion of an elec­tronic health-record sys­tem, ac­cord­ing to lo­cal news re­ports.

The roll­out of a Cerner Corp. EHR sys­tem went live May 4 in “most ar­eas” of the or­ga­ni­za­tion, ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease is­sued at the time. Plans called for the sys­tem to ex­tend to Athens Re­gional’s em­ployed physi­cian of­fices and its four ur­gent-care cen­ters.

On May 15, though, prom­i­nent lo­cal physi­cians sent a let­ter to Thaw and Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent and Chief In­for- ma­tion Of­fi­cer Gretchen Tegeth­off com­plain­ing that the sys­tem was caus­ing “med­i­ca­tion er­rors” and “or­ders be­ing lost or over­looked,” ac­cord­ing to a re­port in the Athens Ban­ner-Herald, which ob­tained a copy of the let­ter. The time­line was “too ag­gres­sive” and users were un­ready, the physi­cians said.

Thaw claimed that the hospi­tal sys­tem took “swift ac­tion” to solve the prob­lems, specif­i­cally by adding spe­cial­ized work­ers to help physi­cians, ac­cord­ing to the Ban­ner-Herald. The med­i­cal staff, how­ever, de­liv­ered a vote of “no con­fi­dence” on May 22, ac­cord­ing to a re­port in the Athens


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