National Attention for Innovation
"Yahoo Finance.com StreetInsider.com?" Area residents might be surprised to find their local hospital acknowledged for technology achievements in the national press, but it's true! In January, George C. Grape Community Hospital along with their technology partner Healthland were cited in over fourteen web based business and technology magazines. "We continue to get calls and emails requesting interviews and photos." commented Director of IT, Craig Wells.
Photo Caption: Michael O'Neal, CEO George C. Grape Community Hospital holds the ribbon for Jolene Laumann, Registered Nurse and Gloria Mattice, Director of Patient Care to cut, symbolizing the new era of Electronic Healthcare Records at GCGCH.
The staff at George C. Grape have captured the attention of technology groups for being a "Beta site" - which means a partner in software development and testing. The decision to jump ahead of the curve on the transition to Electronic Healthcare Record keeping was fueled by very practical reasons.
Healthland technology was already a software vender and consultant for GCGCH. Their client relations staff identified CEO Mike O'Neal, and Director of Information and Technology, Craig Wells as strong leaders and good communicators which were two of the key characteristics they were looking for. They also liked the teamwork training that had already been done at GCGCH.
After visiting another beta site with Healthland officials, Gloria Mattice, Director of Patient Care felt her nursing staff could tackle the project. Mattice is very proud her staff stepped up to the challenge the way
George C. Grape Community Hospital expects to qualify for several hundred thousand dollars in federal reimbursement for implementing and demonstrating meaningful use of a certified electronic health record (EHR). This reimbursement, is to be used to cover up to 99-percent of the cost.
Virtual Ribbon Cutting Well Attended
Approximately thirty community leaders and dignitaries joined the "Virtual Ribbon Cutting" on January 11th. It was a celebration of the "Attesting to Meaningful Use" that was hosted by the hospital staff and Healthland officials.
Representatives from Senator Harkin's and Senator Grassley's offices were present to congratulate the staff and to read letters from the Senators. Twila Larson, Executive Director for the Fremont County Economic Dev. Board was also on hand to commend the hospital and the town of Hamburg for their efforts to maintain excellence and for their fight to stay "Open for Business" despite the flood and road closings this summer.
"Completing our reporting period and attesting to meaningful use was a huge milestone and I can't tell you how proud I am of what our team accomplished and overcame in the past year," said Mike O'Neal, CEO of George C. Grape Community Hospital. "This project has truly been a partnership between the hospital and Healthland, and shows what you can accomplish when you have a solid plan in place and people with the skills and motivation to make it happen. We look forward to the cost savings, increased medical record accuracy, and improved patient outcomes that the Healthland EHR will deliver for years to come."
"As chair of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the Labor -HHS Appropriations Subcommittee, I played a leadership role in authorizing the HITECH Act which established the incentive payments through Medicare and Medicaid for meaningful use so I am very glad to see that George C. Grape Community Hospital has been able to take advantage of the program." Tom Harkin, US Senator.
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At George C. Grape Community Hospital, we understand that healthcare is evolving. Advancements in medicine and strides in technology are providing local communities access to better healthcare. It is our desire to provide the best care in our region. Our staff will be here to help you and your loved ones when the need arises. The comfort and care of our patients is our major goal.
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