Oroville, CA -- According to the latest report from the Health Information Technology Policy Committee, Oroville Hospital is one of the first 100 hospitals in the nation who have attested to meeting the criteria for meaningful use. After successfully certifying their inpatient and ambulatory care electronic health records (EHR) through collaboration with WorldVistA, Oroville Hospital has completed the first stage of meaningful use. They have received their first payment for inpatient care, totaling almost $2 million and expect to receive more as they have already met many other criteria.
The Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs provide financial incentive for the “meaningful use” of certified EHR technology. This allows hospitals to achieve health and efficiency goals through reductions in errors, availability of records and data, reminders and alerts, clinical decision support, and e-prescribing/refill automation, ultimately improving patient safety. The incentive money was made possible through theAmerican Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Stimulus Funds.
Oroville Hospital adopted the Veteran Affair’s version of Electronic Health Records, called VistA, in their 153-bed hospital as well as 17 out of the 20 clinics the hospital owns. In partnering with the VistA community the hospital was able to enhance the open source product into a version that suited the hospital and clinics needs. They will be contributing the software back to the community in order for other hospitals to take advantage of the open source product.
Dr. Narinder Singh, Oroville Hospital’s Chief Medical Informatics Officer, played an integral part in helping implement Oroville Hospital’s EHR from the beginning and continues to be a part of the team helping complete meaningful use. He stated, “Achieving stage one of meaningful use was a hospital-wide effort. Our physicians, nurses, pharmacy, and IT consultants all made it possible for us. We have a great team, which has allowed us to make meaningful use attainable.”
What are the next steps for Oroville Hospital? Dr. Singh says, “We are continuing our efforts of meaningful use and are in the process of gathering data from our first eligible provider (EP) and should see results in the next 90 days.”
According to Dr. Singh, the hospital is continuing to implement hardware to make the EHR system useful for providers and have added a Virtual Desktop Interface, which will allow the system to run on servers. Patient charts will only be accessible within the servers range. Currently the hospital’s physicians are being equipped with iPads making patient information more accessible wherever they are on the hospital campus.
Oroville Hospital is fast becoming a leader of technology in the healthcare industry.