After a year and a half of navigating the new healthcare law of “meaningful use”, Sweetwater Hospital Association has successfully completed its attestation of meeting the requirements of the first stage of the new federal mandates. Attesting to the first stage is a huge milestone meeting the new federal guidelines.
The Federal Government has incentivized hospitals and physicians to move from a paper derived medical record to a complete electronic medical record. Sweetwater Hospital Association has been working towards this since September 2010. In realizing this first stage, the Federal Government has awarded Sweetwater Hospital Association with $1.6 million dollars.
To meet these new requirements, Sweetwater Hospital Association physicians, leadership and staff all had to put forth a major effort in moving to the electronic format. The physicians at Sweetwater Hospital Association moved to computerized physician order entry, which required training and adapting to new processes. The system took several months to set up and required the entire organizations’ efforts in order to implement the system. In addition, SHA purchased a new emergency department information system, which also required efforts from the whole organization.
The processes within the organization as whole, have moved in a significant way towards having a total electronic record. Sweetwater Hospital Association is now continuing to work towards completing stage two of the guidelines.