October 19, 2011

Sally Buck 
(218) 727-9390 ext. 225 

[Glenwood, Minnesota] – Local health care provider Glacial Ridge Health System is being recognized Monday, October 31, 2011, by the Regional Extension Center for Health Information Technology (REACH) for its leadership in the nationwide transition toward electronic health records (EHR). REACH is the regional extension center designated by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) to assist clinicians in Minnesota and North Dakota on becoming meaningful users of electronic health records. REACH is pleased to welcome Glacial Ridge Health System into an exclusive group of leaders – the Meaningful Use Vanguard (MUV).

Glacial Ridge Health System is a system with a 19-bed critical access, trauma hospital in Glenwood, Minnesota within Pope County, with clinics in Brooten and Glenwood. It is the first critical access hospital in Minnesota to successfully attest to meaningful use, meeting the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) criteria that indicate providers are successfully using their EHR to improve patient care.

“REACH is delighted to recognize Glacial Ridge Health System for achieving meaningful use of its electronic health record system and becoming a Meaningful Use Vanguard,” said Sue Severson, REACH program director. “Its experience is invaluable in helping clinicians take the steps needed to transform from paper-based practices to electronically-enabled systems. We commend Glacial Ridge Health System for being at the forefront of EHR implementation, and hope its example will encourage other clinicians to follow in its footsteps.”

Glacial Ridge Health System will receive one of the first incentive payments made under the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs. Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments are available to eligible professionals and hospitals when they adopt, implement, upgrade, or demonstrate meaningful use of a certified electronic health record. The payments, made through the federal Medicare and Medicaid programs, mean that physicians and other eligible professionals can qualify for as much as $44,000 through Medicare or $63,750 through Medicaid. Hospitals can qualify for payments of $2 million or more.

“We’ve made meaningful use a priority within our system. Staff have worked hard, planning for and implementing a new electronic system. We’re now using our EHR to focus on what really matters—improving the care we offer our patients,” said Kirk Stensrud, Glacial Ridge Health System CEO.

“After over four years on our journey to meaningful use, our electronic health record system is now supporting our doctors and nurses in their work. It helps with care delivery in many ways, such as drug-drug and drug-allergy checking and quick access to patient care guidelines, as well as all the historical patient information,” added Heidi Engle, CIO for Glacial Ridge Health System.

Joining REACH in honoring Glacial Ridge Health System at the event are representatives from CMS Region V, and the Minnesota Department of Health Minnesota e-Health Initiative and Office of Rural Health and Primary Care.

MUV is an initiative of ONC, and is designed to honor, thank, and bring together clinicians from clinics and hospitals, like those at Glacial Ridge Health System, who have successfully implemented electronic health records. MUVers (members of the MUV program) serve as local leaders and advisors in the nation’s transition toward an electronically-enabled health care system.

YouTube Video of Event

Download PDF Version