Region's hospitals ranked last in state in electronic record usage

Monday, July 30, 2012

EDITOR'S NOTE: The address of the S. Gregg Gallery has been corrected, as has the name of the new store located there.

A special report from the Missouri Hospital Association revealed Southeast Missouri's hospitals ranked the last in the state when it comes to the number of electronic health record functions being used.

Among the 19 hospitals in Southeast Missouri that participated in the survey, hospitals are using an average of 9.4 out of 24 core electronic health record functions. These functions are divided into four main areas of use, electronic clinical documentation, results viewing, computerized provider order entry and decision support.

The average among Missouri hospitals was 13.4 of the 24 key functions, according to the Missouri Hospital Association report. That's increased from a state average of 8.9 of 24 key functions in 2009. The survey contains data on 152 Missouri hospitals.

Failure to adopt electronic health record systems that meet the 24 key functions will result in penalties for providers, under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act passed in 2009.

"A lot of the hospitals included in the Southeast Missouri quadrant are probably small hospitals and they're a little bit farther behind in many cases, but there are things being done right now to get them moving along. MHA is helping them with that in a lot of ways that larger hospitals may not need help," said David Dillon, spokesman for the Missouri Hospital Association.

Among larger hospitals, higher numbers of electronic medical record key functions were met. Among hospitals with 100 to 249 beds, an average of 14 of the 24 functions were met. Among hospitals with more than 400 beds, 20 of the 24 functions were met.

In order to help hospitals implement these new systems, Medicare has provided $67 million to 36 Missouri hospitals while Medicaid incentive payments have totaled $46 million. Not all hospitals are eligible for these incentives, however.

Northwest had the highest key function adoption levels with an average of 16.3 of 24 key functions. St. Louis ranked near the middle with 13.7 of 24 key functions.

* The Concourse Building held an open house last week to show off its new meeting facility. The former Teamster's building at 429 North Broadview has been transformed into a state of the art meeting facility with help from Bravo TV star Jeff Lewis. The Concourse building also serves as headquarters for the Arch Nemesis franchise, which operates 11 McDonald's restaurants in Southeast Missouri. Its meeting facility features a 40-by-80 feet conference room, motorized retractable screen, stage with podium and wireless microphone, high speed Wi-Fi internet access, Full 1080p HD 5500 lumen projector, iPad integration controls multiple elements in each room including audio/video, lighting control, HVAC control and shades. It offers a high quality audio system including 24 speakers, 4 subwoofers and 8,000 watts of power. The facility offers presenters the ability to wirelessly stream video and audio from iPad or iPhone to the projector and sound system. For more information, email

* Former Cape Girardeau Procter & Gamble plant manager Rick McLeod will speak at the United Way of Southest Missouri's CEO Breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday at Durry Lodge. McLeod is now the director of Family Care Product Supply at Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati. The breakfast will recognize CEOs for their support and seek advice for the United Way's upcoming campaign.

* Riverfront Gifts & Collectibles will open Friday at 114 N. Main St. in the former S. Greg Gallery. Owner Debbie Baker said shoppers will find the new store's merchandise similar to Fantastics, which recently closed in West Park Mall.

The store features year round items as well as seasonal selections. Baker said she's already putting out fall and Christmas items.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony, followed by hors d'oeuvres and wine, will take place at 4:30 p.m. Friday and the store will remain open as part of First Friday. Normal business hours will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Baker, who works as a corporate meeting and events planner, moved to Cape Girardeau from Las Vegas about two and a half years ago. Her job requires a lot of international travel, she said.

"I knew I was going to have to start looking ahead to what I want to do when I don't want to fly around the world anymore," she said.

Riverfront Gifts & Collectables is a family affair for Baker, whose aunt, niece, daughter and grandsons are all working at the new store.

* Brown Shoe is moving from Main Street to 201 S. Mount Auburn Road, Suite A into the former Talbots location. The store is expected to open at its new location around Sept. 1, said owner Nick Mercer. More space, more parking, and the proximity to other retailers made the move attractive, Mercer said. He said Brown Shoe will offer an expanded selection due to the additional room the new store will provide.

Southeast Missourian business editor Melissa Miller may be contacted at 388-3646 or

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