Mt Pleasant News
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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 18, 2018

HCHC converting to new electronic health record

Hospital partnering with Great River as regional health care centers
Aug 01, 2018

By Grace King, Mt. Pleasant News

 

Henry County Health Center will be converting patient information to a new electronic health record over the next year.

HCHC board of trustees approved the conversion to Cerner Electronic Health Record during a meeting on Tuesday, July 31. The decision was made after a task force spent just over a year looking at the most efficient ways to automate patient information, focusing on increasing the quality of patient services and expanding regional partnerships.

The focus on electronic health records is part of a three-year strategic plan to strengthen the quality of care at HCHC.

HCHC will be partnering with Great River Health Systems in West Burlington, using their license to get a reduced cost on the program and partner with another hospital in the regional. This will reduce the overall cost of the program from $2.5 million to $1.1 million, or from a cost of $59,000 monthly to $39,000 monthly.

The cost includes implementation fees paid to Great River, a full-time project manager and implementing a virtual desktop.

The program will enable patients to go from the Emergency Room, to inpatient care, outpatient care, or Park Place without a disruption of information. There will be a flow of knowledge from one department to another, HCHC CEO Robb Gardner said.

“It’s best for our patients. It’s best for the region,” Gardner said.

The conversion will take nine to 12 months.

Great River CEO Matt Wenzel, who was present at the board of trustees meeting, assured that it’s a really good value for the services and partnership.

“Cerner is much more efficient and accurate in real time,” Chief Nursing Officer Jennifer Montgomery said, adding that it is great for the nursing staff. “From a clinical standpoint, we’re excited to have this opportunity.”

For such a small hospital, Montgomery said patient information is fragmented in three separate systems. Cerner will improve the overall quality of care for patients by creating a single patient profile.

In other news, construction will begin in the parking lots at HCHC in September. Hickey Contracting Co. will start on the north end in the associates parking lot before moving on to a section outside of Family Medicine. The first phase of the parking lot renovation project will be completed by the middle of October.

The project will renovate the entire HCHC parking lot over five years.

The Emergency Room is fully staffed after two new doctors were hired, bringing the total number of doctors in the ER to four. “We’re excited to have those four individuals caring for our community,” Gardner said.

The hospital also has a signed letter of intent for a new nurse practitioner, who will start in September.

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