Southern Utah News Articles
Top Stories for September 16, 2009
KC Clinic doctors present proposal for an electronic medical record keeping system
On September 10, 2009 Chairperson Dottie Ratzlaff conducted the monthly Governing Board meeting of the Kane County Human Resources Special Service District D/B/A Kane County Hospital.
Doctor David Salter, representing the medical staff of the Kane County Hospital Clinic, presented a proposal for an Electronic Medical Record Keeping System. Salter stated for quality of care and for a strategic position in the medical market place, the staff recommends this type of program. He had done some research on the basic programs available and selected a medical software company called e-MD for the following reasons: It was developed by a family physician with a target of small family physician offices. The company has shown a commitment to keep up with the changing regulatory environment for Health Information Technology (HIT). The company was the top performer in a recent survey covering several domains of Electronic Medical Record (EMR) utility. The company has a sales and support staff that is reasonably convenient and has shown a commitment to our project.
According to Salter, the latest cost estimates for software, training, support and hardware are approximately $100,000 initially, plus $5,000 to $10,000 annually, this is for a total of six licensed providers. Salter explained the cost could easily be recovered by enhanced charge capture through information management, Health Information Technology stimulus money, and favorable economic handling because of the hospitals Critical Access Designation. Bottom line it would most likely cost approximately $77,000. This is for clinic use only. Dr. Salter suggested proceeding in obtaining the program as soon as possible.
Hospital Administrator Sherrie Pandya questioned how this program could be “funneled” or “bridged” to function with the hospital’s current operating system. It will be necessary to have two separate systems, one for the hospital and one for the clinic, with “bridges” to both as an integrated system.
The board members discussed options and different programs available. The hospital and the clinic are two separate entities operating as a whole, with separate patient medical records and billing. Pandya said the system would need to be in place and in use by 2011 to qualify for the stimulus money. Member Karen Alvey suggested doing a comparison study to be evaluated at the next meeting.
Pandya said the first stimulus payment would be available in 2011 only by meeting a certain criteria. As soon as that (the criteria) is published, the hospital would be happy to meet it. The Electronic Medical System will be a mandated system throughout all medical facilities by 2014.
Human Resource Director Laurali Noteman gave a status report on the Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Shop. Auxiliary President Emma Norton is at home recovering from a recent surgery and is doing well. Norton stated the Thrift Shop is in need of volunteers for all shifts. Sales continue at an even pace.
Dr. Ott announced an application has been received for the position of Physician Assistant for Doctors Salter, Bowman and Ott. The paperwork is still pending. It would be under a three-month trial basis for both the hospital and the applicant.
Noteman gave the names and information on the employees to be appearing in the next edition of the Hi-Lite. Noteman stated the 457retirement document has been prepared and needs to be finalized. Pandya said she will sign the necessary paperwork on Monday and get it sent out.
Finance Officer Stephen Howells announced some changes within the data system company the hospital has been dealing with. Cost is based on the hours they actually use. Pandya stated the data processing systems used by the hospital would need to be updated and redone due to the new status as a Critical Access Hospital.
Sherrie Pandya presented the Administration Recommendations & Report. Action Items: The 2008 Audit was officially accepted and approved.
Budget item: A new attorney out of St. George has been selected to handle the case with the State Retirement Board. A retainer of $10,000 was forwarded to the attorney. Pandya stated the estimated legal fees to settle the case would be approximately $100,000 and the legal fees need to be put into the budget.
A maintenance free checking account and a “Sweep” account have been established with Zions Bank similar to a Public Treasurers Investment Account (PTIF) interest bearing account. Changing banks was not necessary. Howells said it would offset fees amounting to $10,000 to $15,000 per year.
Pandya explained a possible misunderstanding about the $19,800 grant money to be used by the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)? Department in purchasing a used vehicle. She felt the purchase was not a high priority item. The money is to be used for EMT equipment. Pandya recommended using the money towards the purchase of three stair chairs and two gurney lifts to move patients as it was written into the grant request.
There are 43 volunteer EMT’s in the county. Pandya explained training is offered every September and October in Salt Lake City. In the past, the hospital paid their tuition and expenses in order for them to get their certification, total cost would be approximately $25,000 to $30,000 if they all attend. Pandya stated it sounds like a lot, but if the hospital would have to hire personnel to cover the shifts, it would be more costly. Commissioner Daniel Hulet suggested hiring a bus or van to save on transportation costs.
Board Member Shayne Ramsay asked Hulet if the next time a used county vehicle was to come up for sale, a first option purchase agreement could be made with the hospital.
Laboratory Tech Ferdi Rodriguez has been working in the hospital for a year. Pandya said he is asking the hospital to sponsor him to get his green card. There is a lot of paperwork and cost involved. Jeanette Johnson Laboratory Department Head gave Ferdi a good recommendation.