The use of technology in the medical field continues to expand and North Arkansas Regional Medical Center is in position to be a leader in Information Systems. With increased pressure from government to use electronic health records, hospitals are attempting to adjust how they manage the rapid implementation of technology.
NARMC has reformulated their information technology team to include the growing field of clinical informatics in order to address how medical organizations combine both medical and business processes with technology. One of the first big achievements was to become the first hospital in the state of Arkansas to join the state’s effort to develop a health information exchange. The exchange, otherwise known as SHARE, gives the ability to securely share real-time electronic records with various providers throughout Arkansas through this digital footprint. Patient safety and streamlined medical processes are only two of the many benefits of the SHARE program.
In addition to meeting state initiatives, the hospital is also succeeding in meeting all of the requirements of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid ‘Meaningful Use’ program. The ‘Meaningful Use’ program requires hospitals and physicians to measurably use specific functions within an electronic health record. Organizations that meet the requirements will receive a stipend while those that do not will see reduced Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement of up to 5%. One of the most important achievements in meeting the ‘Meaningful Use’ program has been the implementation of the NARMC ‘Patient Portal’. Patients will now have access to their medical record from any location at any time and allows patients become more actively engaged in their healthcare.
While state and federal agencies keep the information technology team busy, the hospital has also embarked on a wide-range of internal initiatives: state-of-the-art physician mobility applications, real-time information sharing between locations, an upgrade of networks, and national award recognition programs to name just a few.