Healthcare Technology Featured Article

December 31, 2012

Healthcare Providers in Sarasota, Florida Look Toward Technology to Improve Services

Preventative care is seen by healthcare professionals as the best way to take care yourself. This approach not only prevents catastrophic health conditions, but saves you and healthcare systems large amounts of money.

Technology gives healthcare systems access to information that can be used to improve services across the board. Whether a person is insured or not, carefully logging their condition and their needs allows nurses and doctors to be more effective and provide a more accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Several Sarasota area organizations are coming together to use technology to provide better services for the patients in their area.

Sarasota Memorial Health Care System, Sarasota County Health Department and Senior Friendship Centers along with support from The Patterson Foundation, came together in 2012 to provide a better information sharing system for uninsured and underinsured patients.

In the coming year, the organizations will install information technology platforms that will be interoperable among the three organizations to share information. It will provide a standardized eligibility requirements system which will reduce waiting time, simplify eligibility processes and streamline overall operations when it comes to patient care.

“Our community has been fortunate to have such key providers working together for decades, with a remarkable history of coordination and care. These technology improvements will now take these collaborative efforts to new levels of efficiency and effectiveness,” said Bob Carter, president and CEO at Senior Friendship Centers.

According to officials, the goal is to give people access to preventative healthcare so emergency and urgent care doesn’t become the only time they seek medical care.

In developing this system, the three medical organizations found that they had a different standard to determine how a patient became eligible for healthcare. By adopting one standard, a model was created for how patients are to be admitted for care, and they agreed to use the same requirements for eligibility and information gathering.

“Our community is evolving and changing every day, and our health care delivery system needs to change with it. This collaborative effort with our community partners has been a critical step in strengthening the safety net resources in Sarasota County and protecting the health of our most vulnerable patients," said Gwen MacKenzie, president and CEO at Sarasota Memorial Health Care System.

The parties agree they have some time to go before the system is working according to their plans, but they’re encouraged by the effort everyone has put forth so far, and they’ll be reconvening in early 2013 to iron out more issues.

Edited by Braden Becker

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