February 13, 2012: In order to bag the incentives offered by the government, the hospitals in the rural areas are entering into contracts with outsourcing firms in the field of health. This is to make the process of implementing electronic health records fast and thus bag the federal incentives.
Most of the supplier’s critical access hospital (CAH) and other hospitals in the rural areas are on the path of implementing electronic health record. Many of the clients have started to adhere to Meaningful Use on the previous client-server electronic health record. But most of the vendors are moving towards complex and effective cloud based electronic health record.
The outsourcing service providers help clients to shift to integrated systems without trouble, which is needed for Meaningful Use. They offer services to make sure the transition is smooth. For this they give project management support and even training and testing support for the hospital clients. This ensures that the applications that have been installed in hospitals work properly and produce the desired results. More over it helps in supporting the rural hospitals where IT resources are sparse.
In most of the rural hospitals there is difficulty in finding and employing IT people, unlike big hospitals where IT resources are abundant. So there is less resource to work on electronic health record migration. In addition to this the existing IT staffs may not have the required expertise and experience to perform the task. The budget too will be small in the case of rural hospitals.
Healthland operates in the healthcare information system domain and they have recently partnered with Anthelio, an outsourcing service provider in health IT. They plan to implement their HER, Centriq in more than 500 hospitals. They have realized there is huge potential for their service and they say that they will not force their clients to shift to their new service platform.
It is widely said that the rural areas have been not given due attention in terms of what they have done to the hospitals in such areas. These hospitals need to move from paper based operations to computer based or digital based operations in one year’s time and that is where the role of outsourcing service providers becomes important. Such partnerships not only reduces cost, but also help in getting things as early as possible and thus bag federal incentives. These partnerships are going to gain popularity among rural hospitals which were long ignored.