PIERRE, S.D. – Fourteen rural hospitals, including six Sanford Health Network facilities, will receive grants for technology projects from electronic health records training to a medication dispensing system., Gov. Mike Rounds announced today.
“Keeping pace with the rapid changes in health care technology is essential for all providers but it can be a challenge for rural facilities with more limited resources,” said the Governor. “We’re pleased to provide this funding to help support technology projects in rural facilities.”
The $194,766 in grant funding comes to the Department of Health through the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program. With these latest grants, South Dakota has awarded $3,125,947 to rural hospitals through the program over the last eight years.
To be eligible, hospitals must have received a Medicare certification as a Critical Access Hospital (CAH). Hospitals certified as CAHs receive a higher Medicare reimbursement rate and are eligible for grant funding for projects to enhance information systems and increase staff training and education. South Dakota currently has 37 critical access hospitals.
Sanford Health Network Hospitals receiving grants in 2008 are:
- Canton – Canton-Inwood Memorial Hospital ($15,000)
- Chamberlain – Sanford Mid-Dakota Medical Center ($15,000)
- Vermillion – Sanford Vermillion Medical Center ($15,000)
- Viborg – Pioneer Memorial Hospital ($15,000)
- Webster – Sanford Hospital Webster ($15,000)
- Winner – Winner Regional Hospital ($15,000)
Sanford Health Network facilities will use the grants to implement a collaborative electronic health records system training project with laptops, training software and related peripherals (routers, docking stations, etc) or to install electronic medical records modules in the pharmacy, radiology and mammography departments.
Sanford Health has already implementing an EHR system known as docZ. Currently, lab and radiology feed into docZ. In addition, patient information, such as registration and scheduling, is part of the system in more than 110 Sanford Clinics and eight Sanford Hospitals. Physician and nurse documentation from a Sanford patient’s visit is also electronically stored at 22 primary care clinics in the Sioux Falls area. This represents more than 120 Sanford Clinic providers.