Last week the census reached 330 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield, WI. It is the second largest hospital in WI. That is amazing given Marshfield has a population of less than 20,000 and it is in the middle of nowhere (sorry Marshfield). There isn’t even a a highway within 30 miles of the city.
But, Marshfield is the home of the Marshfield Clinic, a highly regarded multi-specialty clinic with 750 physicians. If you need tertiary care in Northern Wisconsin you make the track to Marshfield.
Marshfield is also the home of a remarkable healthcare IT story. The Marshfield Clinic has been developing its own clinical IT systems since 1984 (or so). In 1995 they had an electronic medical record that rivals the most advanced systems you would find anywhere today.
Other large clinics have tried to write their own clinical applications. There have been some spectacular failures. John Deere Clinics wrote-off tens of millions of dollars in their attempt. Kaiser Permanente wrote-off hundreds of millions of dollars when they abandoned their internally developed EMR. But somehow the Marshfield clinic has succeeded where others have failed. Carl Christensen is the CIO there. He leads a team of 280 IT professionals.