ONC recently challenged the entire healthcare IT industry to help get 1,000 Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) meaningfully using certified EHR technology by the end of 2014. The call rang out from Washington in response to the particular challenges that CAHs and small rural hospitals (and their patient populations) face when it comes to delivering quality care to highly dispersed (and often isolated) populations.
Not to minimize the challenges (there are many), but a physician-centric approach to software design would go a long way toward making this happen. PatientKeeper has seen that physicians practicing at CAHs are, in many respects, no different from physicians practicing at big city hospitals, especially when it comes to their clinical IT preferences. They want software that is easy to learn and to use, that supports their workflow, and, increasingly, that runs on the mobile devices they’ve come to rely on. Why wouldn’t they? CAH physicians are under pressure to work more efficiently and improve patient care, just like their urban colleagues. We see it at Ashe Memorial in North Carolina and at Cuyuna Regional in Minnesota – and it’s true nationwide.
PatientKeeper is totally on board the CAH support train. We fully expect that, with physician-friendly software stoking the engines, it’s destined to pick up speed.