American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA) stimulus funds for electronic health records (EHRs) have enabled Citrus Memorial Health System, a hospital based in Inverness, Fla, to sign a contract for McKesson’s Paragon® community HIS system.

Citrus Memorial is a 198-bed, not-for-profit community hospital that provides health care services to residents of Citrus County and surrounding communities.

Citrus Memorial and other small community hospitals are now eligible for yearly Federal incentives toward their costs of implementing an EHR system. As part of the agreement with McKesson, McKesson will remotely host the software on its off-site servers.

Paragon HIS will be used for both document management and medical imaging management. As part of the package, Citrus Memorial physicians will now be able to utilize a computerized physician order entry system (CPOE), which will enable physicians to electronically submit patient orders – increasing order efficiency and eliminating the chance for errors related to poor handwriting.

“We wanted to expand our IT strategy with a comprehensive, clinically-focused, enterprise-wide system that had maximum interoperability and offered better total cost of ownership,” said Jim Meister, director of information services, Citrus Memorial Health System said the release. When the stimulus funding was announced, it provided us with an opportunity to accelerate our efforts.”

Meister also explained its choice for offsite hosting. First, there was minimal difference between direct costs and a bigger difference in indirect costs, such as maintenance. Another advantage was data security.

Meister said, “In terms of our location—Florida is susceptible to hurricanes—we gain peace of mind with McKesson’s 24/7 connectivity.”  

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