Indian Health Service promotes its EHR as low-cost solution

Community Health Network of West Virginia first outsider to adopt RPMS

The Indian Health Service is promoting its legacy information technology system for managing medical and business information as a low-cost alternative for other health programs, especially in the public sector.

The Resource and Patient Management System has been in development and use at the service for more than 30 years, and much of the software is in the public domain. The RPMS Electronic Health Record graphical interface is a more recent development that is being used at more than 190 IHS facilities in the United States.

The system has been adapted for use by the Community Health Network of West Virginia and by the Telecommunications Information Policy Group of the University of Hawaii. The IHS said it will highlight those programs at its upcoming Indian Health Information Management Conference in Arizona on May 10.

“As a proven, low-cost, and publicly available health information system, RPMS is an attractive solution for health programs outside of Indian country, especially in the public sector,” the conference agenda states.

The community health network states on its Web site that it is the first organization in the country to successfully implement an adapted version of the RPMS for community health centers.

“The RPMS is a robust and time-tested electronic health care information system for cost-effective management of clinical, administrative, and patient encounter-related financial information,” the agency said.

Because RPMS is fully integrated, data that is captured and entered at various service points is available to all associated software applications. This assures that all medical information, regardless of its source — including lab results, medications, and complaints — is available to clinicians using the RPMS system, the agency said.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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