BOONE, Iowa—The Boone County Hospital has begun the second phase of the hospital’s electronic medical records transition. Since the beginning of the year, the hospital departments have been making use of electronic medical records. There have been a variety of issues, but Hospital Chief Executive Officer Joe Smith says all in all, things have gone fairly well. Not perfectly, but well enough that it’s time to take the next step, using the digital records at the various clinics.
The second phase is beginning cautiously. The hospital’s OB Department is relatively small, and has made good progress on their patients medical records. Boone County Family Medicine, the Boone Clinic, will be the first to begin documenting patients information, either during or after the patient’s visit. Patient prescriptions will be done electronically to the patients preferred pharmacy. Eventually, all clinics will be accessing patients medical records in the same manner.
The Boone County Hospital Board has already been informed that they will be receiving a sizable reimbursement from the Medicare for implementing electronically medical records. Over a year ago, the reimbursement was anticipated to be about $3-million. Recently, hospital personnel were informed the reimbursement would be nearer the $4-million mark. Smith says at least $1-million is being set aside in case Medicare made an error and wishes to secure a refund.