The Pike County Health Department, Home Health & Hospice Agency recently received a capacity building grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health (MFH)*.
The grant award is for an eight month period and is in the amount of $20,000. The funds will be used to employ the services of a consultant to assist in the process of choosing an Electronic Health Records (EHR) system to fit agency needs and budget. A percentage of the funds will be spent on EHR software.
“Having received funding from the MFH in 2010 for a Strategic Plan, we are now ready to move forward with our goal to ‘maximize an electronic record system’ to become web-based and more efficient,” says Justin Selle, agency administrator. “Our new facility opened in June 2011, which houses all services under one roof. Now is the opportune time to move forward and be prepared with an EHR system in place before it is mandated by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for home health and hospice agencies”.
MB Consulting Group has been retained and they will examine the agency’s current medical records system, research various EHR companies, assess operating costs involved, as well as resources and training required, and identify a system that would be sustainable in the future.
“We currently use a paper system and rely on referrals to come from physicians and hospitals via fax, which has resulted in missed referrals”, stated Selle. “An EHR system would generate more referrals, allowing us to serve more Pike County residents, and would also increase productivity, decrease human error, paperwork and staff time, enhance patient confidentiality, and create a more efficient billing and nursing department. Hospitals are mandated to have an EHR in place by 2014 to avoid CMS penalties. The purchase of an EHR system would allow us to interface with them from the onset”.
*Funding for this project was provided in whole by The Missouri Foundation for Health. The Missouri Foundation for Health is a philanthropic organization whose vision is to improve the health of the people in the communities it serves.