Norton County Hospital changes EHR provider

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MINNEAPOLIS, US: Healthland, a player of healthcare information technology solutions for rural hospitals, announced that Norton County Hospital is experiencing improved patient care and operational efficiencies — and is better positioned for growth — with the Healthland Electronic Health Record (EHR) solution.


Located in Norton, Kan., Norton County Hospital operates a 25-bed critical access facility and a rural health clinic which provides medical services for residents in Norton County and surrounding communities in Kansas and Nebraska. The healthcare provider offers all levels of inpatient care, a full range of outpatient ancillary services, and a significant number of visiting physician specialty clinics, as the press release says.

Norton County Hospital implemented most of Healthland’s EHR modules in 2010. Previously, the hospital relied on a regional healthcare provider for its EHR technology to manage its medical records. However, this left hospital staff with little control over their patient records and at the mercy of another provider — which is why Norton County Hospital officials made the decision to implement their own EHR solution.

“Under our previous arrangement, we were completely dependent on another facility,” said Pam Cuthbertson, IT Director, Norton County Hospital. “We wanted to change that and we wanted a system that is more in line with the needs of a critical access hospital. We made the move to the Healthland EHR with the primary objective of improving patient care and safety. We also wanted to be able to provide the services offered at larger facilities in our own community, especially since our area of Kansas is very rural and the closest urban hospital is 100 miles away. We needed to advance our technology to properly serve patients and provide the services they need.”


Norton’s selection criteria required health information technology with strong clinical applications, integrated financial applications, limited interfaces and one patient chart across the continuum of care, adds the release. The nursing staff, in particular, required a solution that would enable them to access complete medical histories of their patients from one central location. Today, Norton County Hospital is live with the Healthland clinical and financial modules. Hospital officials are pleased with the Healthland EHR implementation and say Healthland’s rural focus was key to their success.

“We chose Healthland because their solutions and services are geared toward the rural market,” said Richard Miller, CEO, Norton County Hospital. “Our other options were really geared toward larger facilities and were not a good fit for us. We also closely evaluated the usability of the solutions and Healthland’s products were much more user-friendly, which was important for our staff.”

The hospital also states - With the new technology in place, the administration can now focus on growth. Norton County Hospital has recently completed the construction of a new 9,000-square-foot medical clinic adjacent to the hospital. With the Healthland EHR, the healthcare provider saved square footage in the clinic because they did not have to designate an area for patient records. In addition, the nursing department has integrated the EHR into everything they do, resulting in process improvements and gained efficiencies. This progress has enabled hospital officials to reallocate portions of its clinical staff, creating additional operational efficiency.