The past several months have been a dynamic time at Mid Coast–Parkview Health. We have worked diligently to address the COVID-19 pandemic locally. We have also officially joined with MaineHealth, and we have prepared to launch the MaineHealth shared electronic health record at our organization. I wanted to share a few important updates with our community and reaffirm our commitment to offering the highest quality care right here in the Midcoast region.

Now in our 20th month of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, Mid Coast–Parkview Health continues to prioritize the health of our community by providing COVID-19 testing, vaccinations and medical care to those in need. With the most recent surge driven by the Delta variant, COVID-19 hospitalizations are at some of the highest levels since the pandemic began.

Hospitals around the state are experiencing significant strain because of the COVID-19 inpatient volume as well as staffing challenges that persist in almost every employment sector. Even as we face these challenges, Mid Coast–Parkview Health continues to be here to support the needs of our community and we are prioritizing keeping our staff and community safe.

In addition to our ongoing efforts to combat this global pandemic, Mid Coast–Parkview Health has continued our integration with MaineHealth. The partnership we now have with MaineHealth, the largest healthcare network in northern New England, enhances our organization in many ways. Our patients now have expanded access to doctors, specialists, and treatment options spanning a wide array of health needs, ranging from routine visits to cancer care, without changing current doctors or locations. Greater access to some of the best care in the country is closer than ever.

Over the past nine months, our care team members, in collaboration with our partners at MaineHealth, have been working hard to prepare for the launch of our new shared electronic health record. On Nov. 6, we will undergo one of the most significant IT undertakings in the history of our organization with the launch of our new MaineHealth shared electronic health record.

The unified electronic health record will reinforce quality care and convenience for both patients and providers, dramatically improving patient care and the health of the communities we serve. Highlights of the new electronic health record system include:

  • Information is safely and securely kept in one place, so patients’ providers all see the same record.
  • Teams of providers in different locations can quickly share important patient information.
  • Patients’ most up-to-date information is in their record instantly, eliminating the need for duplicate forms.
  • Having current information available in real-time means providers can avoid requesting a test another provider just ordered. That saves our patients time, money, and worry.
  • Patients will have quick and easy access to their health information using MyChart, a secure online portal that allows patients to take a more active role in their healthcare.

To date, care team members at Mid Coast–Parkview Health have undergone more than 3,000 hours of training on this new system, with more than 77,000 labor hours invested in the implementation effort. This is a noteworthy accomplishment in the midst of prioritizing our COVID-19 response. While we feel prepared and excited about these advancements, we anticipate that our patients may encounter some delays and extended wait times as we get up and running. We appreciate your patience and understanding during the coming weeks.

You may begin to notice that along with these systematic changes, we have a new look to our logo to match our integration with MaineHealth. System-wide, our logos are being updated to incorporate the MaineHealth color, look, and feel. Mid Coast–Parkview Health is thrilled to bring all the benefits of MaineHealth’s expansive network to our patients along with our care team, and our updated look symbolizes this commitment.

Rest assured that caring for the health of our community remains our number one priority and the local care you have come to know and trust remains in place. With this integration, we reaffirm our commitment of ensuring a strong local healthcare system and team, centered around the needs of patients, and dedicated to lowering costs of care. We believe that we have taken the necessary steps to make this a seamless transition for our patients and community members because your confidence in us as your local healthcare organization truly speaks to our commitment to care.

We are so proud and grateful to every one of our 2,100 care team members, from the front line to the support staff, for all they are doing. From combating the pandemic, merging with MaineHealth and implementing a new electronic health record to help care for you even better, their dedication has been remarkable. Thank you for your support of these brave and hardworking team members.

To learn more about the MaineHealth partnership and upcoming changes at Mid Coast–Parkview Health, please visit mainehealth.org/midcoast.

Lois Skillings is the president of Mid Coast–Parkview Health.

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