HealthLeaders Media Community and Rural Hospital Weekly - February 27, 2008
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New Lobby or an EMR?
Carrie Vaughan, Editor, Community Hospitals
How can I provide high-quality, comprehensive and affordable healthcare to my community with an aging facility, minimal staff and limited funds? This is a question that community hospital leaders grapple with every day--and it is why these executives are forced to make some difficult decisions. [Read More]
February 27, 2008
Editor's Picks

Exchanging information electronically may become model
Two small rural hospitals in Southern Illinois are not only implementing IT in their facilities, but they are also creating a community-wide medical information exchange that will allow physicians, hospitals and other medical providers to electronically share patient information. A $1.6 million grant helped offset the $3 million price tag of the project, which will install electronic medical record systems and a picture-archiving and communications system. [Read More]

Visa program not helping ease Ohio's primary care doctor shortage
The J-1 visa waiver program, which aims to offset physician shortages by enabling foreign-born medical grads to stay in the United States in exchange for three years of service in nationally designated physician shortage areas, has come under fire in Ohio. The debate centers around large urban hospitals--located in designated shortage areas--that use the program to keep specialists on staff. Critics argue that their participation makes it harder for rural areas to recruit these docs and undermines the program's intent to improve access to primary care physicians. [Read More]

Flood of red ink spells the end of Muhlenberg (NJ) Medical Center
Muhlenberg Regional Medical Center in Plainfield, which provided roughly $15.4 million in uncompensated care last year, but received only $6.2 million from the state in charity care funding, announced plans to close after an attempt to find a buyer for the 130-year-old facility failed. Similarly, Kenneth Hall Regional Hospital in East St. Louis, IL, which treats a large number of uninsured and indigent patients and lost an average of $3 million a year for the past five years, is hoping a merger with Touchette Regional Hospital will keep its doors open. These articles illustrate how the growing number of uninsured is impacting some community hospitals. [Read More]

Network lets Tennessee doctors share patient info
AT&T Inc. is partnering with Tennessee to provide the country's first statewide system to securely transmit detailed patient information between medical professionals. Doctors will be able to access medical histories, prescribe medicines over the Internet, transfer images like X-rays, MRIs and CT scans, and remotely evaluate patients in rural areas. [Read More]
Leaders Forum

Countering the Physician Shortage
These are challenging times for hospitals and groups trying to increase their ranks, but a strategic, responsive approach to the recruiting effort can make a big difference between hiring success and failure. [Read More]
This Week's Headlines

Healthcare spending surge seen in next decade
AP/Yahoo News - February 26, 2008
Shortage of surgeons pinches U.S. hospitals
USA Today - February 26, 2008
Missouri hospital closes its small pediatric unit
St. Louis Post-Dispatch - February 19, 2008
VA chief vows to tackle rural health problems
AP/Army Times - February 27, 2008
Medical officials: Iowa facing severe nursing shortage
AP/Chicago Tribune - February 22, 2008
Link in Massachusetts aims to keep healthcare local
Boston Globe - February 25, 2008
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From HealthLeaders Magazine
Love Thy Vendor?
Providers and IT suppliers don't get along, right? You can build a partnership of trust with your vendor--and actually get what you pay for. Here's how. [Read More]
Community Call
Discussion Board
Each week, Community Call will pose a question to encourage community and rural hospital leaders to share success stories and best practices. This week's question is "Is it worth it to employ hospitalists in a small community hospital?"
Audio Feature
What's Coming in 2008: As a healthcare management consultant, Barry Calogero helps healthcare organizations plan for the future. In this interview, Barry discusses his predictions for healthcare in 2008 and beyond.
Sponsor Community and Rural Hospital
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