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Hospital installs Electronic Medical Record system PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 07 July 2011 20:22

When patients come to Chase County Community Hospital, they may see a COW or two in the rooms or moving down the halls. However, it won’t be the type of cow that most are accustomed to seeing in the pastures of the surrounding area.

Computers on Wheels (COW) are part of the new system of the electronic medical record (EMR) system that staff at Chase County Community Hospital and Clinics have been working diligently to install and implement during the past nine months. COWs give medical staff easy access to information systems, diagnostic equipment, bar-code readers and more, in an attempt to improve efficiency and safety relating to patient data.

Michele Pursley, RN and Jessica Skomp, RN work with the Computer on Wheels (COW), which provides medical staff the ability to move from room to room when entering medical information as part of the Electronic Medical Records system now in place at Chase County Community Hospital. (Courtesy Photo)

 

The EMR system was mandated as part of the federal healthcare law. To receive funding, hospitals will have to meet core “meaningful use” requirements by 2015. Among the criteria are using electronic systems to prescribe medications and maintain patient medication lists as well as providing patients with a copy of their own digital records.

The push to modernize medical files is aimed at cutting costs and reducing medical errors. With the digital technology, health providers can share information more easily, better monitor patient health and prevent unnecessary diagnostic tests or harmful prescription drug combinations.

In 2009, Congress authorized funding to promote electronic health records as part of the economic stimulus package. Incentives will be paid out over five years, and by 2015, providers will face penalties if they don’t adopt the new technology.

Cost of the project for Chase County Community Hospital will be nearly $700,000. CCCH is on schedule to meet meaningful use criteria and will receive reimbursement for 80 percent of the project expense.

Chase County Community Hospital healthcare system was one of the first rural hospitals in this area to begin implementation of the EMR system.

According to hospital CEO, Lola Jones, “The decision to move forward with EMR implementation was not just about compliance with federal law. The bigger picture is streamlining and increasing security for transfer of patient medical information between hospital departments and other medical facilities.”

The process for Chase County began last September of 2010. New computer equipment and software programs were installed. Staff who work directly with patient records have been participating in training sessions to understand the operations of the new EMR system.

“It has added an extra work load system wide,” stated Jennifer Harris. “It will help us access records quicker and make transfer of needed information more seamless and secure.”