(NEWTON, KS) – Newton Medical Center completed the final presentation of the 2011 Dinner with the Doctor series, now in its third year. The series is one way that NMC keeps the community informed about current health care matters including detection and management of diseases as well as general trends in the industry.
In December, NMC President and CEO Dr. Steve Kelly spoke about the “State of Healthcare in the U.S., Kansas, and Newton.” He highlighted several areas of concern including the general economy and healthcare funding at the federal and state levels and what it means to local citizens.
One of NMC’s plans is to meet with Harvey County nursing homes and explore a plan to better coordinate care for patients who are discharged to their own home or back to the nursing home. Area medical administrators point to the current situation and possible changes to health care in the US and in Kansas as drivers for these innovations. It is one of the first big attempts to create an area-wide seamless conduit of care not focused strictly on one specific provider.
‘It is physicians, hospitals, home health, and nursing homes working together to create a continuum of care, because in a community like ours, we’re going to care for someone in that continuum of care from the entry point to the exit,” Kelly explained. “This makes it less difficult to provide the best patient care at the appropriate level with the most efficiency,” Dr. Kelly added.
Many of the challenges that NMC has dealt with over the last couple of years include costs to implement Electronic Medical Records (“EMR”) for physicians and staff. EMRs provide doctors with the ability to review a patient’s data in real time from anywhere in the world. For example, one NMC physician who traveled out-of-state regularly checked in on his patients’ status, even viewing lab and x-ray results as well as overall progress.
“Electronically we are exchanging data back and forth, which is good care,” explained Dr. Kelly.
NMC also implemented a bedside medication verification system, which allows a care provider to scan a patient’s coded armband with a hand-held device to ensure proper delivery of medications. The system is linked to the patient’s medication administration record and warns if the drug interacts poorly with the patient’s other medications.
Dr. Kelly concluded by assuring the audience of NMC’s intention to continue fulfilling its mission, protecting its workforce, and meeting the healthcare needs of the community.
Newton Medical Center is a comprehensive 103-bed hospital in Newton, Kan., offering full-service medical care in Harvey, Butler and northern Sedgwick counties. For more information about Newton Medical Center, please call 316-283-2700 or visit www.newtonmedicalcenter.com.