California hospitals connect with extensive electronic medical records system

Spokane 26 June 2006Providence Health and Services of California signed an agreement with Spokane, Washington-based Inland Northwest Health Services (INHS) to link four Los Angeles-area hospitals with a large health information network. The network securely connects 38 hospitals and provides more than 1000 physicians and nurses instant access to critical patient information. This conversion creates an electronic patient record that is rapidly transportable between facilities and enhances patient safety through the creation of a detailed and easily updated chart.


"We are pleased to provide an electronic records system to Providence Health and Services facilities in California", stated INHS CEO Thomas M. Fritz. "Inland Northwest Health Services has a proven record of providing Providence hospitals in the Northwest with reliable, timely and cost effective medical information technology services."

Under the agreement, the transition will begin at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank and Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, California. Implementation at Little Company of Mary hospitals in Torrance and San Pedro, California will follow. Physicians will be able to read or write in patient charts via computer or hand-held electronic devices. Changes, such as new lab orders or reports, or the prescription and dispensing of medications, are instantly available, helping reduce the potential for medical errors.

In addition to California, INHS network operations cover Washington, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Alaska, with a network made up of regional and rural hospitals, clinics and physician offices. INHS is a non-profit corporation sponsored by Deaconess Medical Center, Holy Family Hospital, Sacred Heart Medical Center and Valley Hospital and Medical Center in Spokane, Washington to provide collaborative health care services. INHS companies include St. Luke's Rehabilitation Institute, Community Health Education and Resources (CHER), Children's Miracle Network, Northwest Telehealth, Information Resource Management and Northwest MedStar.

Leslie Versweyveld

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