Weems adds electronic medical recordkeeping

Published: Monday, December 23, 2013 at 11:35 AM.

An important infrastructure change went on line in the Weems Memorial Hospital emergency room this month, the first component in the hospital’s new electronic medical records (EMR) system.

The provider, CSS, was selected this fall after a request for proposals that narrowed the finalists down to CSS and Healthland.

At the Dec. 3 meeting of the county commission, together with Don Lindsey, chief information officer for Tallahassee Memorial Health Care, and Dr. Pat Conrad, director of the Weems ER, Weems CEO Ray Brownsworth detailed the complicated funding mechanism that should enable Weems to recoup about three-quarters of the expensive price tag of the EMR system.

Brownsworth said the out-of-pocket expenses are about $260,000, and only a portion of $210,000 of this is reimbursable.

“The $210,000 is for other things that include equipment interfaces, connection between software and other pieces and conversion of data for nurses and doctors,” he said.

He said Medicare will pay a portion of the $450,000 cost of software, installation, travel, and training, as well as the $118,000 in annual fees for support and maintenance of the system.

“We will be mandated to have something as we go along,” said Conrad. “Whatever will affect the best transfer of data will help save lives. We won’t immediately make money (but) we will immediately stop a greater loss of money.

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