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by Cerner Corporation | Susan Schmidt
Published on March 13, 2018

Critical access hospitals are often the lifeblood of rural areas in the United States. The critical access hospital designation is designed to reduce the financial vulnerability of rural hospitals and improve access to health care by keeping essential services in rural communities.

This episode of The Cerner Podcast features Susan Schmidt, the EHR strategist at Pagosa Springs Medical Center. Pagosa Springs Medical Center is a critical access hospital based in southwestern Colorado, and with only 11 beds, it is the smallest facility to achieve HIMSS Stage 7, and only the second facility to achieve Stage 7 under the newer, stricter 2018 guidelines. In this episode, Susan discusses the importance of critical access hospitals and how health IT helps Pagosa Springs stay independent. 

  • First, let’s talk about what it means to be a critical access hospital. How does a critical access hospital compare to other types of hospitals, and why are they a vital piece of the health care system landscape?
  • Pagosa Springs Medical Center was on paper until 2014, when you implemented an electronic health record. Tell us about what the before and after was like, and what this technology has done to improve the continuity of care for your patients.
  • Since 2010, 78 rural hospitals have closed due to rural health care revenue cycle challenges. How has EHR technology empowered Pagosa Springs to remain an independent critical access hospital?
  • Pagosa Springs is also part of a health information exchange (HIE) system. Tell us about the decision to participate in the HIE network. How does this aid organizational goals of interoperability, and what does it mean for patient care coordination?
  • What’s next for Pagosa Springs on its path to interoperable health care? What advice would you give to other critical access hospitals who are also on the HIMSS Analytics' EMR Adoption Model℠ path? 

Listen to the full podcast below, or click here to view all episodes of The Cerner Podcast!

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