Optio teams up with Hometown Health to deliver affordable electronic health record solutions to Georgia's community hospitals

Alpharetta 05 December 2005Optio Software Inc. is partnering with HomeTown Health, an organisation of 48 Georgia rural hospitals, to deliver affordable electronic health record (EHR) and forms automation software solutions to Georgia's community hospitals. Optio will provide its QuickRecord Suite of electronic health record (EHR) software solutions and its MedEx forms automation applications to HomeTown Health member hospitals based on a low-cost, application service provider-based (ASP) model.

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"HomeTown and Optio share a commitment to helping smaller hospitals overcome the financial and information technology barriers to electronic health record system adoption, and today's announcement underscores that desire by making it possible for Georgia's rural hospitals to implement cost-effective EHR solutions today", stated HomeTown Health CEO Jimmy Lewis. "After spending more than a year of careful and thorough due diligence in evaluating vendors, we are confident that Optio is the right partner to provide our members with proven digital health record solutions."

HomeTown Health LLC is an advocacy organisation of 48 rural and/or small hospitals that works with its 30 business partners to develop and implement strategies that help Georgia's struggling health care facilities survive tremendous challenges, including rising costs and government budget cuts, while continuing to deliver quality health care to their communities.

"As a company headquartered in Georgia, we're particularly proud to be partnering with HomeTown Health to offer our robust electronic health record solutions to rural facilities throughout the state", stated Optio Healthcare Business Development Director Steven Woodis. "We believe this joint initiative with HomeTown Health will prove how electronic health records can help reduce costs, improve health and advance the statewide and nationwide adoption of health care information technology. Rural health organisations across the nation are closely watching HomeTown Health's groundbreaking approach, and we are confident that many will quickly follow their successful lead."

Georgia has more than 130 acute-care facilities with 100 beds or fewer, and most of these are in rural areas, according to the 2004 Hospital Blue Book. In the United States, more than 3500 of the nation's more than 6000 hospitals have 100 beds or fewer, according to the Hospital Blue Book. Optio is a strong advocate for making electronic health record systems more affordable for community hospitals in Georgia and across the nation.

"Information technology is a powerful antidote to medical error and high health care costs, and the time is right to link community hospitals with the rest of the health care system", wrote Donald H. French, Optio's senior vice president of research and development in an opinion column in the November 2005 issue of Health Management Technology. "For many community hospitals, subscription-based software, similar to an application service provider approach, is just what the doctor ordered. It requires minimal capital expense and offers accelerated return on investment, sometimes in as few as 18 months."

Donald H. French is featuring as one of the speakers at a rural health conference hosted by the Georgia Health Policy Center and Georgia's Office of Rural Health Services. In a presentation titled "Making Electronic Health Records Affordable for Rural Hospitals", Donald H. French is discussing the technological and financial obstacles faced by rural health care facilities looking to adopt electronic health record systems.

More than 700 health care organisations use Optio forms automation and electronic health record solutions to reduce costs, streamline document-driven processes and improve patient safety. More than 5000 companies use Optio solutions to achieve unprecedented speed, accuracy, functionality and quality in their inbound and outbound document processes and extend their enterprise resource planning (ERP) and hospital information systems (HIS) applications.

Founded in 1981, Optio Software maintains world headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia, with Europe, Middle East and Africa headquarters in Paris and sales offices in Germany and the United Kingdom. More company news is available in the VMW December 2005 article Optio executive urges industry to address needs of rural and community hospitals.


Leslie Versweyveld

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