Hospitals launch first Meditech modules
St. Mary’s and Clearwater Valley Hospital and Clinics recently met ‘go live’ dates for three components of their new $1.3 million Meditech software system. The system will eventually generate electronic medical records for their inpatients and outpatients.Bryan Skinner, and Drew Johnson work on the server that connects the two hospitals and their 7 satellite medical clinics and 4 PT clinics.
The system was designed by Medical Information Technology, Inc, based in the Boston area.  The company has been providing integrated software products for the past 36 years and has over 1900 customers and more than 2,000 employees, worldwide.
“We selected this system because it can handle hospitals from five to 500 beds and the separate modules best fit our needs,” said Bryan Skinner, IT Director.  “Our patients will benefit because the doctors, nurses, radiology, lab, business office and others will have one integrated patient record to help them perform their job functions. We will also be able to electronically send that record to other hospitals that use the Meditech system.”
According to Pam McBride, hospital grants coordinator, a $450,000 Congressional appropriation through the Office for the Advancement of Telehealth and a $ .5 million grant from the USDA Rural Utility Services have helped with the purchase cost.  “Meditech also allowed us to purchase one system for use in both facilities so, essentially, we are getting two systems for the price of one,” said McBride.
The three activated modules are payroll and personnel, general ledger and the management information system which powers the other modules.  The materials management, billing, accounts payable, accounts receivable and claims are scheduled to ‘go live’ on October 1.  Medical records and admissions are also slated for that date.
Radiology, lab, pharmacy and order entry are scheduled for June, 2006 and the physicians will begin using the electronic medical record system in early 2007.
“The entire suite of components will interface smoothly with each other,” said Drew Johnson, Network Administrator.  “Each component is phased in.  We began by forming employee teams for each module.  The process is initiated with a conference call with Meditech, the next step is onsite training, then our team members travel to Boston for further training, and, finally, Meditech reps visit us for a system assessment.  Training employees simultaneously from both facilities really is a cost and a time savings.”
Johnson and Skinner set up the hardware components and server system with assistance from CompuNet, a Grangeville company.  The system connects the two hospitals, their seven satellite medical and four physical therapy clinics.
“Our patients will really benefit from this system,” said Casey Meza, CEO.  “Their medical records, as well as their billing, insurance claims, lab, pharmacy records will be easily accessible at each of our sites and at remote locations that use this same system.  We’re one of the few rural healthcare providers that are implementing such a sophisticated system, but it certainly will be the wave of the future." 

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