Spanning six different counties across southern Colorado and part of northern New Mexico, the San Luis Valley is known as the world’s largest alpine valley. With unpredictable weather given the time of year and a unique set of geographical features that can restrict transportation, San Luis Valley Health has always prioritized patient access.
We provide care to over 56,000 people across our five clinics and two hospitals. Serving three of the six poorest counties in Colorado, we depend heavily on the government-insured patient population, as a combined 86% of our patients are supported by Medicaid and Medicare.
Serving a generally low-income population, patient access already has its challenges. But factors like weather and our location in the San Luis Valley can bring additional challenges, especially when it comes to transportation. So when SLV Health went LIVE with MEDITECH Expanse in October 2020, we understood the value that MEDITECH’s Patient and Consumer Health Portal and Expanse Virtual Care would have on our community.
Implementation came with unprecedented support, and we quickly knew that we’d found a great partner in MEDITECH. Throughout the implementation process, we felt the support from our MEDITECH colleagues and found ourselves constantly impressed with the level of detail provided to us in response to any questions that we had.
Patients were typically seen across our health system and were experiencing delays and gaps in the continuity of care without a single EHR across all sites. But the integration of each hospital and clinic into one, unified electronic health record quickly led to increased efficiency, decreased workload, and shorter wait times for patients.
Any remaining gaps in care that our patients at San Luis Valley Health experienced when receiving care at affiliated clinics or hospitals improved with the health system’s participation in the CommonWell Health Alliance. Now, care coordination is enhanced and patient information travels with the patient when they move from provider to provider.
Care coordination has been further supported by our decision to implement MEDITECH’s Business and Clinical Analytics solution. We are using this tool to track emergency department follow-up phone calls and identify potential connections between the phone calls and a decrease in low acuity ED visits.
BCA is also helping us more effectively manage the financial aspects of clinical care at San Luis Valley Health. Our data scientists produce dashboards using statistics they surface, and these dashboards not only enhance the usability of this data, but prove invaluable to individuals in many departments including: financial, surgical, providers, administration, and others. BCA statistics have also been leveraged to track workflow implementation to increase wellness visits.
Before we implemented MEDITECH’s BCA solution, SLVH’s A/R days were in the 60s. Within only two to three months, we were down to 40, and now our A/R days consistently hover in the 30s. This means that we have cut our A/R days in half since implementing BCA. We have not only improved insight into our medical record data, but used this actionable information to streamline other processes, like our insurance and claims processes to better support our unique patient population.
As the healthcare IT Director at San Luis Valley Health, I am excited to share in the benefits experienced by the IT staff. With the support of MEDITECH and other external third-parties, our hosting is now handled by professionals, ultimately reducing internal workloads. Our internal IT staff, myself included, was relieved of the more day-to-day tasks like managing our servers, and now we can shift our focus to more strategic tasks.
With patient access always being a top priority, we are happy to partner with a company that puts us first so that we can put our patients first. Adopting MEDITECH Expanse has really given us a voice at the table. Now at San Luis Valley Health we can be better advocates for our community and provide holistic and patient-centered care.
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