National Health IT Week – Words from the Field

MetaStar, as a partner in the advancement of health information technology, is a proud partner in National Health IT Week. National Health IT Week is a collaborative virtual event offering all stakeholders an opportunity to unite under one banner, expressing the benefits that health information technology brings to our country. This event would mean nothing without the hardworking people on the frontlines of health IT.

Here’s what two of our customers say about their experiences with health IT:

Erin Choudoir, Tri-County Community Dental ClinicErin Profile

What has surprised you the most about your health IT journey?

What has surprised me most is simply how much there is to learn. At the same time, I was surprised to find that there are a ton of resources out there for someone in my position – someone who is learning about health IT and meaningful use really quickly and, for the most part, on my own. I have been surprised and grateful that MetaStar reached out to me as they have really been a lifesaver and I wouldn’t have known to look for them!

Advice for other providers:

When it comes to meaningful use is to make sure their staff are thoroughly trained in how to enter information and just how important that information is that they are in charge of gathering. Making them aware that the effect of having wrong information or not taking the time to do something completely can mean big problems down the line – especially for those who plan to attest and receive payments from the state.


Todd Zantow, Prairie ClinicPrairieClinic

What has surprised you the most about your health IT journey?

The largest surprise with health IT has been the rate of change. We started with electronic records in 2003 and there is always something new. We are constantly upgrading our hardware, software and business processes. We are constantly looking at new technologies to improve our processes. Over the years, we’ve implemented interfaces with other organizations, lab information systems, electronic claims, e-prescribing, digital x-ray, PACS, scanning, patient web portal, server virtualization with a SAN, quality reporting, and several other new initiatives. We can customize our application and have a great deal of reporting flexibility out of the system, but there are always enhancement requests and new versions that arise from the customer requests. With the regulatory changes, we’ve been pushed to implement even more initiatives, and many of these initiatives require additional hardware resources. If you add in the other changes to operating systems and other software packages, it becomes an upgrade treadmill.

Advice for other providers:

Our first step was to build a good team, including physician champions. The second step was preparing our board that health IT requires regular reinvestment in time, money and effort. Workflows adapt to the new technology as it grows, even as the technology attempts to adapt to the new workflows, but it takes a willingness to embrace the change. Once we overcame the inertia of resistance to change, we’ve been much more successful as an organization.