Health Centers Adopting EHRs

HealthFinders Collaborative, Inc. a free community health clinic provides primary care, medication assistance, chronic disease management programs, and patient advocacy. The health clinic helps provide care to low income and uninsured and underserved residents in Rice County situated between Northfield and Fairbault, Minnesota.

The small clinic is on its way to adopting an EHR system. Working with the Regional Extension Assistance Center for HIT or referred to as REACH, consultants are using REACH planning tools. HealthFinders Executive Director Charles Mandile believes that the EHR is a catalyst for growth and will enhance care across the team of voluntary providers, nurses, and interpreters, and a dozen pharmacies.

The business case for an EHR took HealthFinders months to develop. As a small organization, the clinic views the upfront costs as a long term investment in administrative efficiency. HealthFinders will pursue the Medicaid incentives which will cover a large part of the monthly costs.

In Nebraska, the Boone County Health Center with five satellite clinics serving 10,000 rural residents in several north central Nebraska counties has successfully installed an EHR system. To select the software, the health center staff previewed software in use at a small rural hospital in Missouri and reviewed an on-site demonstration with software representatives. The consensus among the staff was to install a Cerner software package.

However, the medical staff was faced with one problem related to the number of EHR alerts that the system constantly received. While the alerts helped the medical staff check for harmful drug interactions and prevent adverse medication events, physicians were experiencing alert fatigue from the influx of alerts.

Emily Krohn Chief Information Officer at Boone and the Center IT staff realized that they needed to improve the EHR system to help providers detect drug interactions and prevent medication errors without constant alerts coming into the EHR system.

Providers held discussions with the IT staff which led to improving the system and adjusting the number of EHR alerts sent. Today, key health system stakeholders meet weekly to discuss the EHR implementation progress and reports show all the recent triggered EHR alerts received so if necessary, action can be taken to reduce the alerts.

Share Button