July 30, 2009

Schumer, Gillibrand Secure Key Senate Subcommittee Approval For $500,000 For The Three Hospitals of East End Health Alliance To Create Electronic Medical Record System

Senate Labor, Health, and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee Approves $500,000 to Create a Network Alliance Between Peconic Bay Medical Center, Eastern Long Island Hospital, and Southampton Hospital

Today, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced that the Senate Labor, Health, and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee has approved $500,000 to  the three hospitals of the East End Health Alliance, Peconic Bay Medical Center, Eastern Long Island Hospital, and Southampton Hospital, to create an Electronic Medical Record system. The Alliance currently lacks an Electronic Medical Record system in their ambulatory physician practices and is forced to rely on multiple business applications to meet their administrative needs across these diverse medical practices.  This lack of consistency severely limits the ability of the three hospitals to realize significant savings that would result from implementing shared services.  The funding was approved as part of the Senate Appropriation process, and has been included in the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Bill.  The bill was passed out of the Subcommittee and now will need to be approved by the full Senate Appropriations Committee, after which it will be sent to the Senate floor, and then to the president for signature.  Schumer and Gillibrand worked with colleagues to ensure funding for the project.

"Long Island is growing and its hospitals need to grow with it. These funds will enable the East End Health Alliance to bring Long Island's hospitals into the 21st century," Schumer said. "It is of the utmost importance that Long Island's hospitals have the ability to share and access information quickly to best serve patients. This funding will help keep all divisions of these hospitals on the same page and acting as one to ensure the best possible care."

"It is critical that we invest in the life-saving technologies at our world class medical facilities on Long Island," said Senator Gillibrand. "Investing in health IT will help the East End Health Alliance deliver higher quality, more coordinated care - saving lives and cutting health care costs in the long run."

The funding will help to consolidate disparate software systems while providing the best support for the organization's evolving technology and business needs.  The project will invest in people, business, technology infrastructure, electronic health record and practice management software.  This investment will provide operational stability, support growth and relevant operations objectives for the next 5-7 years.  A special emphasis will be put on the improved access to patient information that will enhance the delivery of quality care throughout the continuum of East End Health Alliance.

The new system will provide a user friendly solution for the providers and support staff, provide improved workflow and office efficiencies, ensure that patient/provider interaction is the top priority when using an electronic medical record to document care, allow PCAP, ADAP, and Medicaid billing, improve practice revenue through accurate charge capture, improve patient care delivery through access to clinical information and consolidate back end billing services.

Next the appropriations bill will need to be approved by the full Senate Appropriations Committee, after which it will be sent to the Senate floor. Following approval by the Senate, the bill will move towards Conference with the House and then to the President for signature.