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INHS receives $15.7M grant for information technology improvements

By Dave Erickson
Published On: Sep 13 2011 05:34:23 PM CDT
Updated On: May 06 2010 08:28:18 AM CDT
SPOKANE -

Inland Northwest Health Services has been named to receive a grant to make health care improvements through technology to save people with diabetes time, money and improve their quality of life.

Over the next three years the Beacon Communities of the Inland Northwest, led by INHS, will receive $15.7 Million to increase care coordination via information technology, helping to connect patients with diabetes in rural areas to medical professionals region-wide.

?No longer spending that time filling out that clipboard in the doctor?s office or trying to remember with your 80-year-old mom what prescription she took and getting all the medication right, that information is readily available, it lets doctors be doctors again,? Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said.

The Inland Northwest region is one of just 15 communities across the country selected by the US Department of Health and Human Services to serve as pilot communities for eventual wide-scale use of health information technology.

The grant is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

?For people with chronic disease in particular who may see four, five or six doctors over the course of a year this is going to make it much better for them to track their information and understand what they need to do to take care of their health,? INHS Director Jac Davies said.

?It's not only time saving for the provider but cost saving for the patient helps care delivery be much more efficient,? Secretary Sebelius said.

The money will not only help electronically link patient medical information for doctors but also pharmacies and long term care agencies, ending a paper trail that may or may not include crucial elements of a patient?s health history.

The focus of this initial program is patients with diabetes but eventually it will reach beyond diabetes to all chronic conditions.

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