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Find out how athenahealth's cloud-based services have enabled Steward Health Care Systems to improve care coordination and keep care local and in-network with an easy-to-use EHR, seamless sharing of patient records, and complete portability across devices and locations.


The Steward Health Care System has 11 hospitals currently. We serve about 85 communities that stretch from Southern New Hampshire to Northern Rhode Island. We have about 1.2 million patient visits per year at various facilities and locations. We are all about community medicine and keeping care in the community, where it is much more cost-effective, where we can provide excellent quality, great access.

How are you? Nice to see you.

Nice to see you again.

How are you doing?

I'm good. I'm feeling well. How's everything?

One of the foundational elements of trying to drive that community care model is a robust information technology platform--

So let's see your chart, here.

--by which we can disseminate information along with patients as they navigate the health care maze. It's about getting the information in the hands of their primary care provider or their nurse case manager. When they become sick or visit an emergency room, we then want that information to follow them and their providers so that we can care coordinate and improve both quality and cost-efficiency.


Hi. How are you?

Nice to see you again.

Nice to see you. How are you feeling?

Once you've put a note in Athena, anybody who has access to Athena can see that note.

Yes. I'm going to send it from my phone here to your pharmacy.


Everybody has to have access to everybody else's notes, x-rays, and lab work. Otherwise, all that you're doing is you're duplicating work and driving up costs. From the doctor standpoint, the best part of Athena is its ease of use. There are many EHRs that are good, but they're complicated to use. Athena has helped us in terms of making care coordination easier, and therefore keep more patients within the system.

Athena helps us keep care local and within Steward by helping us achieve a better patient experience. The patient's not giving the same history four or five different times because we've got it in the electronic version. And it comes with them-- in fact, it often arrives before the patient arrives, whether it's in the emergency room, the hospital, or another physician's office.

One of the other areas that Athena has really helped us in is its portability. My physicians now have the ability to access Athena either on their smartphone or from home on their iPad or on their computer at work. So they can literally be in almost any setting.

With our previous billing system, we weren't able to really see behind the scenes of what was moving through our billing system. And I think with Athena, not only I, as an executive, our front desk staff, our physicians-- everybody can see what's going on.

Did you get the latest report?

Yes. I'll send it to you right now.

I appreciate that. Not a problem.

Athena has become a very important component in the success of revenue cycle for Steward Medical Group. When we started with Athena, our days in AR were 51.9. We are now down to 33 days. And that's money in our pocket which we can then use to fund education that our caregivers and our facilities need to care for our patients.

This is our overarching strategy.

What makes Athena stand out from some of the other systems that I've used is the partnership and the relationship with Athena. I have a whole invisible team of people at my back from Athena that wrap themselves around me to make sure that we succeed.

I can tell you in five years, our needs are going to be different. That's going to require a partner that evolves with us and responds to our demands. And Athena has demonstrated that for us, which is why I think we've been successful and we will continue to be successful.

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