West Virginia DHHR Health Network

West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources logo

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (West Virginia DHHR) provides acute, behavioral health (psychiatric) and long-term care at several state-run facilities now reaping the benefits of a unified electronic health record thanks to Medsphere's OpenVista system. These facilities include:

  • John Manchin Sr. Health Care Center (41-bed Medicaid-certified LTC) —skilled/intermediate nursing, inpatient and outpatient clinical services—affordable, efficient, accessible—for indigent and/or underserved West Virginians
  • Welch Community Hospital and Long Term Care (62 beds)(Welch, W.Va.)—acute inpatient and outpatient services, with emphasis on prevention and community education, for southern West Virginia's rural population; two specialty units, including ICU.
  • Lakin Hospital (114-bed Medicaid-certified LTC)(Lakin, W.Va.)—quality long-term care services for underserved West Virginians whose complex behavioral, developmental and other needs are not being addressed by community health services
  • Jackie Withrow Hospital (199-bed Medicaid-certified LTC)(Beckley, W.Va.)—geriatric services, including longterm and behavioral healthcare to improve functioning ability and independence, for West Virginians not served by traditional healthcare providers; known by a series of names, most recently Pinecrest Hospital, JWH was originally known as Rutherford Sanitarium
  • Hopemont Hospital (100-bed Medicaid-certified LTC)—quality, efficient and economical geriatric services for West Virginians who need longterm and behavioral healthcare to enhance their ability to function independently
  • Mildred Mitchell Bateman Hospital (110-bed teaching hospital)(Huntington, W.Va.)—quality, coordinated, cost-effective, acute inpatient psychiatric treatment for West Virginian adults
  • William R. Sharpe Jr. Hospital William R. Sharpe Jr. Hospital (150 beds)(Weston, W.Va.)—Opened in 1994 to replace the old Weston State Hospital, Sharpe Hospital is an acute-care psychiatric facility with full accreditation from the Joint Commission. The hospital offers a wide range of services to patients committed via civil commitment or the judicial system (forensic patients). Sharpe works closely with community behavioral health centers and other community organizations to smoothly transition patients back to the community after discharge. Psychologists, clinical social workers, physician assistants, psychiatrists and others from West Virginia University's Department of Behavioral Medicine & Psychiatry work closely with Sharpe clinicians to provide quality, cost-effective acute-care treatment for mentally ill patients, and, over the years, the hospital has emerged as a premier center for mental health education, as well as research, in the state of West Virginia.

Media Coverage

Highly 'customizable'; very 'user-friendly'

Editor-in-chief Mark Hagland asked Hartsel Bryant about his experience implementing Medsphere's OpenVista EHR solution at Welch. Bryant, the clinical applications specialist who manages OpenVista day-to-day, told Hagland he was very happy with the implementation:

"This is a highly customizable piece of software. It's very user-friendly, and we're definitely getting our money's worth.”

Click here for the Sept. 2009 Healthcare Informatics article.

$9M vs. $90M

Mar. 27, 2009—In an article entitled "VA's Health record System Cited as Model for a National Network," Jack Shaffer is quoted as saying that "OpenVistA costs a tenth of the price of commercial health IT software." Shaffer is chief information officer of the nonprofit Community Health Network.

NextGov reporter Bob Brewin goes on:

"For example, the West Virginia University Hospital System spent about $90 million to install commercial health software from EPIC Systems Corp. in seven hospitals, while the state's Health and Human Resources Department installed OpenVista in eight hospitals for $9 million."

Click here for the full article.

Easy integration

Healthcare IT News (January 27, 2009) editor Bernie Monegain reported on the "roll out (of) barcode IT for medication" by all eight* facilities in West Virginia's public health network of acute, psychiatric and long-term care hospitals. She spoke with Medsphere CEO Mike Doyle, who noted that "the implementation of the barcode solution in West Virginia's diverse network of facilities, including those contracting with an outside pharmacy, demonstrates OpenVista's ability to easily integrate with all kinds of healthcare IT programs." Click here for the full article.

*Seven if you count the acute and longterm care beds at Welch as one facility.

Time savings for staff

Aug. 17, 2007—In a Virtual Medical Worlds article entitled "West Virginia 'Open for Business' to VistA, RPMS and Other Open Source Healthcare Solutions," VistA experts Peter J. Groen and Keith McCall describe the WV-DHHR implementation project in great detail. Among their comments:

"Improvements in patient care, time savings for staff, and the ability to more appropriately bill for services because of timely clinical documentation are all key benefits of using the system. One of the biggest advantages is that staff members now have access to records where and when they need it. Staff are able to view almost everything that is going on with a patient."

Click on Groen-McCall for the full article.

News Releases

'We couldn't be happier'

Jan. 27, 2009—"Medsphere Successfully Implements Electronic Medication Administration Solution in West Virginia State Facilities; Software Integrates Long-term Care Facilities with Outside Pharmacies, Improving Patient Care and Communications for Medical Staff."

"We're excited with Medsphere's quick turnaround in implementing this pharmacy program," said Jerry Luck, director of facilities system administration for WV DHHR and project manager for the OpenVista program. "Medsphere had a potentially Goliath task in integrating an outside pharmacy with the state's network of healthcare facilities, but they accomplished this quickly and smoothly. We couldn't be happier with these results." Click here for the news release.

What Customers Say

GCH: Leveraging open-source EHR

We are deeply committed to ensuring patients receive the best possible care. This is particularly critical given our community’s limited healthcare options.

"With Phoenix Health’s IT support and our staff's commitment to quality, we can leverage a proven open-source health IT solution to transform our paper records into an electronic recordkeeping system that will help us more cost-effectively monitor and improve patient care, and qualify for maximum federal stimulus dollars."

Christina Campos
Guadalupe County Hospital
(Santa Rosa, N.M.)