2012-07-05 / Front Page

Foundation Donates $50,000 To FCMC

SPECIAL TO THE NEWS

As its final grant of fiscal year 2011-2012, the Fulton County Medical Center Foundation gave $50,000 to Fulton County Medical Center (FCMC) to help pay for the cost of installing and implementing its new electronic health record.

“This gift is for the more than $1.2 million cost of the program,” Foundation President and CEO Robert Roush said. “It is a really large grant for the foundation to make,” he added. Roush said that the $50,000 grant combined with the foundation’s role in securing a $900,000 grant for a larger region of the state takes a major bite out of the cost for not only FCMC, but for Jersey Shore Hospital, FCMC’s partner for the project, as well as two Pennsylvania hospitals yet to be determined.

Roush also said that the grant was made up of hundreds of gifts made to the foundation over time – the cumulative power of a $5 or $10 monthly gift made to patient care or as an unrestricted gift. “This truly shows that every gift matters,” he said.

Installing a new electronic health record was hard work for Medical Center staff, according to Roush. “People don’t realize it, but the dedication of the staff goes unseen and under-appreciated. I saw people when I came in at 7 a.m. that I know were there at 11 p.m. the night before too. Sometimes, people never went home.”

The system, set to go live July 1, took more than two years of planning and implementation. “In some ways, it’s business as usual,” Roush said, “But in others, it’s like going from telegraph to telephone.

This is a major upgrade – one that will allow healthcare in Fulton County to keep pace with the most sophisticated systems anywhere.”

“We are meeting not only government regulations for use,” Jason Hawkins, CEO of FCMC, said, “But we are going farther than that, making sure that every part of our operation is more seamlessly integrated. Most importantly, doctors and nurses will have quicker access to more complete information.” Hawkins said this will improve care and could save lives.

The Medical Center requests patience from the community as the new system is fully implemented. In some cases, information will need to be checked and re-entered for each patient, making some patients next visit a little longer. “The extra time is necessary to make the information as up-to-date and optimal as possible.” Hawkins said. “The role that ‘good data’ plays in making people healthier will only increase in time,” he said. “This new system means we are ready.”

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