Healthcare Business News
Athens Regional Medical Center President and CEO James Thaw

Ga. hospital CEO resigns after bumpy EHR rollout

By Darius Tahir
Posted: May 27, 2014 - 2:45 pm ET

Athens (Ga.) Regional Medical Center President and CEO James Thaw resigned amid complaints from the medical staff that his administration bungled the implementation of an electronic health-record system, according to local news reports.

The rollout of a Cerner Corp. EHR system went live May 4 in “most areas” of the organization, according to a news release issued at the time. Plans called for the system to extend to Athens Regional's employed physician offices and its four urgent-care centers on Tuesday.

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On May 15, though, prominent local physicians sent a letter to Thaw and Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer Gretchen Tegethoff complaining that the system was causing “medication errors” and “orders being lost or overlooked,” according to a report in the Athens Banner-Herald, which obtained a copy of the letter. The timeline was “too aggressive” and users were unready, the physicians said.

Athens Regional did not immediately respond to queries from Modern Healthcare.

Thaw claimed that the hospital system took “swift action” to solve the problems, specifically by adding specialized workers to help physicians, according to the Banner-Herald. The medical staff, however, delivered a vote of “no confidence” on May 22, according to a report in the Athens Flagpole.

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