Hospital connects with Spokane group for services

Inland Northwest Health Services' (INHS) information technology division has added Enumclaw Community Hospital to its growing network in an expansion that brings new financial and clinical technology services to ECH.

The local hospital has agreed to join the INHS Information Resource Management (IRM) division's network of 30 facilities in central and eastern Washington and North Idaho, comprising 2.4 million patients and their medical records.

"We now have the latest in information technology and gain staff that, typically, we could not afford because we are a small hospital, said Dennis Popp, chief executive officer for Enumclaw Community Hospital. "We are excited about the potential with this service and what INHS can bring to our hospital."

IRM will bring the latest clinical and financial hospital information technology to the 38-bed Enumclaw hospital, giving them access to 150-plus workers at INHS dedicated to this technology. INHS' core hospitals in Spokane have been named "most wired" in the nation for two consecutive years as a result of this technology.

Specifically, ECH will gain improved capabilities in financial management by giving hospital administrators more detailed financial information on how health care is being delivered. Information that was once recorded manually will now be electronic, increasing the effectiveness of managing finances. Cost accounting, billing, scheduling and payroll are just a few of the financial features.

"We are very pleased IRM can be the interface they need for this," said Fred Galusha, chief information officer for INHS. "They recognize the benefits of our collaborative model of information technology services and how it will assist the physician, patient and entire health care continuum there."

ECH will also benefit greatly from the new clinical applications of the technology by giving doctors the opportunity to review patient information through secured networks from their offices or homes as well as order changes in a patient's care, electronically. This improves the efficiency for a doctor monitoring a patient's care and allows doctors to spend more time at the bedside with a patient instead of handling paperwork. Other clinical benefits include:

€ Lab results electronically

€ Pharmacy review and monitoring electronically

€ Patient's records will now be electronic

€ Radiology images using personal computers

This is all done through one single integrated system from Meditech Inc., a computer software information program used by nearly 30 percent of all hospitals in the United States. IRM builds the interfaces that allow Meditech applications to unify clinical, administrative, and financial information across a health care organization. More than 15,000 staff use the Meditech programs on the INHS system.

INHS is a non-profit corporation formed by Deaconess Medical Center, Holy Family Hospital, Sacred Heart Medical Center and Valley Hospital and Medical Center in Spokane to find and implement collaborative health care opportunities. INHS companies also include St. Luke's Rehabilitation Institute, Community Health Education and Resources, Children's Miracle Network, Northwest TeleHealth and Northwest MedStar.

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