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Client Story

Building Success: A Journey with Sunrise EHR

Choosing Sunrise EHR and building an impactful partnership

Grand Lake Health System (GLHS) joined the Altera Digital Health family in 2016 after spending 18 months on vendor evaluations. Up until the organization went live on Sunrise, its clinic and hospital settings were operating under three EHR systems. Leadership was seeking a single, streamlined record and the ability to better drive patient outcomes across the health system. GLHS ultimately decided that Sunrise would fit the bill for their organization’s needs.

To the organization, taking all the users’ experiences into account was vital when partnering with a new EHR vendor. “When we selected Sunrise, we made the decision based on the clinical aspect of the EHR. We were looking for what our clinical leaders and physicians felt would be the best product  from a patient and clinical documentation perspective,” said Lori Miller, Chief of Information Services.

The team at GLHS has reaped many benefits of having one EHR system—
specifically an increase in efficiency. Eliminating the need for three systems has fixed issues including communication mishaps, duplicate entries, lack of access to information and much more. “Our providers have access to necessary information at their fingertips now instead of having to contact medical records,” said Joshua Miller, Director of Information Systems.

Team members at Grand Lake are confident that their success thus far is partly due to the relationships built with the Altera team. By meeting with their Client Development Executive (CDE) and Client Success Executive (CSE) weekly, they can share what they are currently working on and let the team know what they need help with. They have weekly touchpoints that align both organizations to make sure everyone understands each other from a strategic standpoint.

Increased efficiency after implementing Sunrise and eliminating the need for two systems
Customization in Sunrise enables users to tailor workflows
150–200 custom MLMs built by Altera Managed Services

“Driven to build an EHR that works for us and helps make us better”

Recently, GLHS underwent the NIAHO® Hospital Accreditation Survey. The
NIAHO® accreditation program is not just about making sure Medicare standards are met; it’s a complete system for managing and improving quality. Unlike old-style surveys that only pointed out problems, this program encourages everyone—from top management to frontline staff—to share new ideas and work together for better outcomes.

The NIAHO team is highly collaborative in its surveying approach. The auditors are always willing to sit right beside managers and staff in the units during the survey and view the EHR in action. Whenever they make suggestions on improvements, big or small, GLHS can make system modifications immediately due to the nimble nature of the system.

“Our clinical NIAHO surveyor, Carol, stated that she has never been to a facility with an Altera EHR that built and utilized the EHR to the capacity as we have here at GLHS. She was beyond impressed and called out our IT team at the closing meeting for a job well done! Carol went on to state that we really have listened to our end users, and it is evident we are driven to build an EHR that works for us and helps make us better. She stated we really have something special here and she is very impressed with our IT staff,” Lori said.

"After the closing NIAHO meeting, our CNO, Lana, went on to say that we have never had a NIAHO survey clinical finding during her tenure and she directly correlates that to the EHR and the hard work [Altera] devoted to building to our needs. She stated that Carol, the auditor, finally gave up trying to find any missing documentation, because our EHR was just built so impeccably.”

Lori Miller
Chief of Information Services

Altera Managed Services makes an impact at Grand Lake Health System

Partnering closely with Altera Managed Services, GLHS has been able to make
significant strides in optimizing Sunrise for its users. “We have a lot of ideas and [Managed Services] help us bring those ideas to life. I don’t think a week goes by when we don’t have a new request in front of them. Some of those are quick little implementations and others are six-month-long, or longer, projects,” said Joshua.

Since GLHS is a small rural hospital, they understandably can’t staff 24/7. They appreciate the fact that Managed Services can provide their team with some reprieve, especially in the evening hours. “We meet with them weekly  and we make sure to voice any priorities that need to be changed or moved to the top of their list,” Joshua said.

When asked how Managed Services has positively impacted day-to-day
operations at GLHS, Joshua confidently stated that their assistance with making MLMs (medical logic modules) come to life has been a game changer. “We wouldn’t be able to do any of that without their help, and we have done a ton over the years. They’ve helped us with 150–200 MLMs that range from simple alerts to risk stratification projects. Their help has been invaluable,” Joshua said.

One of the most impactful projects to date is the complete program for sepsis monitoring that Managed Services built. Team members at GLHS said they learned about the program from another Sunrise client at a conference. From there, they obtained the concept and some of the base structure of that, including SQL (structure queried language) logic and code. They took that to the Altera Managed Services team and worked closely with them to develop the documentation points and adjust the SQL queries to create  sepsis alerts in Sunrise. Before the addition of the sepsis monitoring program, users were relying on their memories and paper documentation.

“We have a lot of ideas and [Managed Services] help us bring those ideas to life. I don’t think a week goes by when we don’t have a new request in front of them. Some of those are quick little implementations and others are six-month-long, or longer, projects,”

Joshua Miller
Director of Information Systems

Evolving with Altera

The team at GLHS is excited for the future with Altera and Sunrise. When asked what he is most looking forward to, Dr. Josey, CMIO, excitedly said advancements in AI (Artificial Intelligence). “We had a session with an Altera associate in Israel who is working on developing AI technology for Sunrise, so we are eager to see how we can get involved in that way,” Dr. Josey said.

As a smaller rural hospital, GLHS leaders believe the biggest advantage of
working with Altera and Sunrise is their ability to quickly adopt new ideas
to help their users, whether it is implementing new features or creating new
documentation workflows. They believe Altera advocates for them to consistently meet all their strategic objectives.

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