BY DENISE RICHARDSON
THE DAILY STAR
Bassett Healthcare Network is making patient visits less painful by improving records with technology in a project with three local partner organizations.
The effort to upgrade electronic medical records won a recent boost with a multi-year grant through a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services intiative.
Bassett spokeswoman Karen Huxtable said the grant is for about $290,000 the first year and about $270,000 in the following two years.
Bassett’s project partners are A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital and Nursing Home in Oneonta, at Home Care Inc., a certified home health agency, and Community Health Center, a federally designated Rural Health Center in Cherry Valley.
The grant provides capital to develop a records system that will improve patient experiences within the local rural healthcare network, Scott Groom, vice president of information technology and chief information officer at Bassett, said, and Bassett’s record for implementing such technology was a factor in selection for the funding.
“As Bassett patients travel across the healthcare spectrum, it is important for their healthcare information to be immediately accessible to all authorized healthcare providers,” Groom said in an email. “Avoiding duplicative services and facilitating timely care, our partnership with other organizations will ultimatelybenefit the people who matter the most _ our patients.”
Rural health networks across the nation will receive more than $11.9 million to support adoption of health information technology and certified electronic health records, a federal media release said.
Funding is through the HHS’s Health Resources and Services Administration and comes from existing appropriations and authorization for the Rural Health Care Service Outreach and Rural Health Network Development Program.
“We need health information technology to bring our health-care system into the 21st century,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in the release.
“These funds will help safetynet providers acquire stateof- the-art health information technology systems to ensure the delivery of quality care to some of the most remote areas of our country.”
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