As only 840 out of almost 5,000 eligible hospitals—19 percent—have attested to Meaningful Use (MU) Stage 2 throughout the nation, Engage, a division of Inland Northwest Health Services (INHS), continues to assist customers in overcoming attestation obstacles. Whitman Hospital and Medical Center, Tri-State Memorial Hospital, Mid-Valley Hospital, Pullman Regional Hospital and Grays Harbor Community Hospital, all located in Washington State, recently completed successful attestation toward the EHR financial incentive program. This brings the total number of Engage hospital customers achieving MU 2 to eight.
“Stage 2 enables the movement of data along the care continuum,” said Marcia Cheadle, senior director of MU and advanced clinicals at Engage. “This process ensures all providers involved in the care of a patient have the latest and best information. This also means health care organizations must adopt new processes to obtain patient email address and encourage patient engagement to meet this requirement.”
“We formed a patient portal team to develop a plan on how we can educate patients about the new portal and its benefits,” said Cathy Murphy, R.N., director of clinical informatics at Pullman Regional Hospital, a critical access hospital (CAH) located in Pullman, Wash. “We worked with staff to be our advocates for enrolling patients and to support them through their first log on to the patient portal. We are small, responsive and have great support from Engage.”
“Grays Harbor Community Hospital has always looked toward technological advances to improve patient care and practices,” said Larry Kahl, chief operating officer at Grays Harbor Community Hospital, a 200-bed facility in Aberdeen, Wash. “Our medical team and clinical staff worked with Engage after hearing of their ability to assist hospitals through the MU requirements. We’re looking forward to furthering our commitment to deliver the highest quality of care to our community.”
“Our biggest obstacle was first getting the email addresses and then getting the patients to view their medical information,” said Patty Schneider, BSN and clinical informatics program manager for Tri-State Memorial Hospital, a CAH located in Clarkston, Wash. “This is something we continue to focus on for the year two attestation.”
Engage partners with hospitals to become an extended IT support team, working directly with hospital customers to determine what methods best fit the hospital’s environment in line with the requirements of state and federal governments.
“As a critical access hospital, attesting to Stage 2 required our staff to become advocates for the patient portal and to connect our patients to their electronic health information,” said Michael Billing, chief executive officer and administrator for Mid-Valley Hospital. “We worked closely with Engage throughout the process and are proud of the success we’ve seen in meeting this goal.”
“This is no small task for a CAH hospital with limited staff and resources,” said Jim Heilsberg, chief financial officer at Whitman Hospital and Medical Center, a CAH in Colfax, Wash. “The requirements of the federal government were both large and not at all times clear. With the help of Engage and significant effort by several key hospital staff, we were able to work through the challenges and attain Stage 2 certification.”
For more information about Engage and its services, visit https://engage.inhs.org.
About Engage: Engage, a division of Inland Northwest Health Services (INHS), is a health care IT solutions vendor that provides advanced clinical and financial systems, electronic health record and meaningful use services and consulting services for hospitals and physicians throughout the nation. Engage provides services to more than 130 customers, allowing physicians and health care providers to securely access patient information utilizing wired and wireless technologies. Thirteen of Engage’s networked-hospitals are ranked by Hospitals & Health Networks magazine as the “100 Most Wired” in the country. More than a dozen hospitals that use Engage technology services have attested to Stage 1 Meaningful Use criteria and eight hospital customers now have attested to Stage 2. For more information on Engage, visit us on:
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