Implementing an electronic medical record software system into a critical access hospital or a large multi-hospital/ clinic health system from a 100% paper documenting system can take time, money, and patience. The appropriate, knowledgeable people need to be available for this type of transition to take place. There are federal guidelines that have to be met for an electronic medical record software to be implemented. Meaningful use has to be established in order to pick the appropriate software. It is also best to know which software can give you the best benefits for the type of facility and health information exchange that is needed. Develop a plan of implementation and carry out the necessary steps needed to successfully begin your new electronic medical records program.
As a nurse informatics specialist, I focus on finding ways to improve information management and communications in nursing to improve efficiency, reduce healthcare cost, and enhance the quality of patient care. In the past, I have worked at a large multi-hospital/ clinic health system who has been using health information technology, electronic medical records, and a health information exchange to better patient’s health and to reduce medical cost. I have ten years’ experience with electronic medical records and believe that it is in the best interest of my new place of employment, a critical access hospital, to take the steps needed to implement a new electronic medical records program, now rather than later. The Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive program provides payments to eligible hospitals. While demonstrating meaningful use by using EHR, hospitals can receive incentive payments up to as much as $44,000 for Medicare and $63,750 for Medicaid. Critical access hospitals can qualify for up to 2 million dollars or more. The incentive payments are disbursed over a five year period. Time is running out to take advantage of these government incentive programs.
A critical access hospital (CAH) is a hospital that is certified under a set of Medicare Conditions of Participation (CoP) which is constructed differently than an acute care hospital. There are requirements that are needed to become a certified critical access hospital such as having no more than 25 inpatient beds and maintaining an annual length of stay of no more than 96 hours for acute inpatient care. The critical access hospital has to have 24-hour, 7-days-a-week emergency care and must be located in a rural area. The critical access hospital cannot be close to another CAH up to 35 miles.
The company that I would choose for implementing electronic medical records would be Athenahealth. Athenahealth is one of the top electronic health records software companies that would be the perfect fit for this critical access hospital. With guaranteed meaningful use, more efficiency, less work, focus on care, and rapid implementation Athenahealth is a great choice for an electronic medical records...