EMR Planning to Improve North Iowa Health Care (Iowa)

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Summary:

The purpose of this project was to design a comprehensive three-year plan to implement an integrated electronic health record (EHR) for nine small, rural hospitals and their affiliated physician health organization clinics. The project partners (the nine hospitals; their secondary referral center; and local public/community health departments) followed a six-step planning process over a one-year time frame. Success was measured on an ongoing basis by evaluating the activities/process and outcomes of the planning steps. Project participants also completed final surveys to evaluate the effectiveness and results of the entire planning project. Project objectives were met within the one-year time frame due to a high degree of commitment from the partnering organizations as well as the strength of the six-step planning process. The partners prepared a detailed, three-year plan to implement a standard, sophisticated, and integrated EHR system with computerized physician order entry, evidence-based care guidelines, decision support tools, and revenue cycle products. The EHR system for implementation will be supported by an Application Service Provider and Remote Host Organization contracts with Mercy Medical Center - North Iowa and Trinity Health. In addition, the project partners applied for a received a three-year AHRQ Health IT Implementation Project Grant that began on Sept. 30, 2005. Evaluations from participants demonstrated higher than average satisfaction with the processes and outcomes of the planning project.

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