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Orange City Area Health System Enters into Long-Term Contract with Sanford Health

The board of directors at Orange City Area Health System (OCAHS) unanimously approved a long-term management contract with Sanford Health at a special meeting today, entering into a ten-year agreement with the Sioux Falls based healthcare system.

The board of directors at Orange City Area Health System (OCAHS) unanimously approved a long-term management contract with Sanford Health at a special meeting today, entering into a ten-year agreement with the Sioux Falls based healthcare system. While the terms of the contract do not change the relationship OCAHS has had with Sanford, the 10-year contract shows a heightened commitment by the facility to Sanford Health. OCAHS previously had a year-to-year contractual relationship with Sanford Health dating back to 1997.

“We have enjoyed a solid relationship with Sanford Health for over a decade,” said Tim Zeutenhorst, board chair at OCAHS. “While we will retain our own board and the hospital remains community-owned, we are looking forward to the stability that this long-term relationship will provide.”

Zeutenhorst stressed the fact that the new contract was a bilateral decision and both parties are excited about the enhanced level of collaboration. “This is a strategic partnership for both entities and we are excited to be a part of the Sanford momentum that continues to build,” he said.

One of the biggest benefits of the new agreement will be the implementation of a new clinical information system at OCAHS. As part of a nationally-utilized software called EPIC, the new system includes electronic health records, sophisticated communication between providers and patients, simplified patient billing, and other features. In the future, online patient registration and web-based access to medical records will be available to OCAHS patients. This product is not typically one that small, rural hospitals can afford to implement on their own.

“The information system is extremely powerful and will transform the way we deliver care,” said Marty Guthmiller, CEO at OCAHS. “Healthcare organizations across the country such as the University of Iowa are also utilizing this same vendor for their clinical information needs. We are confident in the efficiency that the information system will create for our organization.”

OCAHS is one of the first rural facilities in the Sanford Health system undertaking the transition to the information system, which is called docZ by Sanford Health. It is named after Dr. Arne Zetliz, one of the original founders of Sanford USD Medical Center (formally Sioux Falls Hospital). The phased implementation of the system will begin in the fall and span the course of several years.