3-point tips for rural healthcare centers MU success

Rural and community healthcare should develop an effective IT plan that unites internet administration, IT departments and clinical center so that they can utilize the meaningful use in an effective way, according to Stoltenberg Consulting.smal

Particularly, the small organizations are facing the challenges such as shortage of cash. That is why they could not develop a system. Char Wray, vice president of clinical operations and information systems, and chief clinical and information officer at Elyria, Ohio-based EMH Healthcare said that these facilities can “extend across the entire organization and impact all staff and patients along the continuum of care,”

“There is a requirement for expertise in multiple areas to support the build and implementation of the solution and the significant change in the workflow of the clinicians,” she added. “It can be difficult to balance all of the demands while delivering on our primary mission to provide quality care in a cost effective manner.”

Other challenges for community healthcare centers discussed in the Stoltenberg include the initial investment which is necessary for the implementation of latest technology and is slow-to-receive reimbursements. “In addition to an investment in technology, there’s the cost of actually utilizing it,” said Wray. “For example, there’s the cost of educating end-users and effective change management.”

They also look at other major issues such as, minimal IT staff onsite and lack of proper infrastructure which is unable to support the required expansion in EMR systems. The IT implementation are not just the IT projects, perhaps they are a complete setup that is required to renovate the “clinical transformation”. To implement this new setup a significant top to bottom buy-in effort is required.

Fred Bazzoli, senior director of The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives has emphasized on “reach out to rural and community hospitals in a really pointed way.” He also added that “These smaller hospitals have to put aside competitive differences and stay in contact with each other to facilitate information transfer.”

To meet criteria of meaningful use, the Stoltenberg brief says rural and community healthcare centers should prioritize the following key points:

  • A better and strong integrate IT system is required to create a strong foundation to meet the requirement of different healthcare centers.
  • IT teams should develop stronger relationships with clinical staff and physicians.
  • Creating the logical chain for what needs to be organized and in doing so, increasing milestones and setting tangible goals.

“The new MU requirements are instrumental in guiding a change in the way patients engage with their healthcare teams,” said Wray. “This is a huge transformation in the way we traditionally interact, and it keeps me up at night. I want to make sure we engage patients in a meaningful way, so that they can be an active partner in their healthcare decision making with their healthcare team.”

“Proceeding toward Stage 2 and Stage 3 MU requirements will become more challenging for rural and community hospitals,” said Sheri Stoltenberg, founder and CEO of Stoltenberg Consulting. “Such challenges require the support of the entire industry in order for these facilities to remain viable and continue to provide the type of meaningful and relevant care that is offered by larger facilities.”

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