West Side Health & Fitness News & Notes
Akron Digestive opening new office in Green
GREEN — Akron Digestive Disease Consultants, a five-person group of gastroenterologists, will open a satellite office in March in Green at 3593 S. Arlington Road, Suite D.
According to practice officials, initially, Drs. Arjun Venkat, Costas Kefalas and William Shaheen will see patients at this location. Dr. Ganesh Veerappan will join the practice and see patients at the Green location in August.
The doctors consult on the care of patients at Summa Akron City Hospital and offer outpatient care of conditions such as acid reflux, liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease and other chronic gastrointestinal issues, according to practice officials.
Office hours for the Green office will begin with appointments available Mondays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The group’s physicians also see patients at its 570 White Pond Drive office in West Akron and at 5655 Hudson Drive in Hudson.
Screening for colon cancer is also offered through the group-affiliated procedure center in West Akron or at Summa Akron City Hospital.
For more information, call 330-869-0124 or visit www.myohiogi.com.
Summit County Medical Society’s website for uninsured gets Acme sponsorship
GREATER AKRON — The Summit County Medical Society (SCMS) has announced a sponsorship relationship with Acme Fresh Market Pharmacies to help those in need find affordable health care.
The initiative is the only one of its kind in the country, according to SCMS officials.
Under the agreement, Acme Fresh Market Pharmacies will be the exclusive pharmacy sponsor of www.HelpWithMedicalCosts.com, the SCMS’s website that helps those who are uninsured and under-insured find affordable care.
Financial backing from Acme will fund improvements to the website and will help build public awareness of the website as a public resource, said Dr. Doug Lefton, a Fairlawn family physician and board member of the SCMS.
Acme Fresh Market Pharmacies will promote and publicize the site through newspaper, radio and billboard advertising and through its network of Acme Fresh Market Pharmacies and Pharmacists.
“The Medical Society is deeply appreciative of Acme’s support, which will allow us to reach more uninsured and underinsured people,” Lefton said.
He added this is the first instance he has heard of where a supermarket chain has worked with a medical society. He said the SCMS approached Acme because its pharmacies already offer low-cost prescription medicines. Acme has more 350 drugs that it sells for $4 a month and offers a rewards program.
“Acme Fresh Market Pharmacies offers significant programs that can lower prescription costs,” said Steve Albrecht, president of Acme. “We look forward to working with the Summit Medical Society to educate their patient community. Together we can improve the affordability of health care so people do not forgo the health care services they should have.”
Akron Children’s earns national recognition for EMR adoption
DOWNTOWN AKRON — Six months after going live with its inpatient electronic medical records (EMR), Akron Children’s Hospital now ranks in the top tier of hospitals nationwide for EMR implementation, according to hospital officials.
HIMSS Analytics, a not-for-profit subsidiary of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), recently informed Akron Children’s that it has achieved Stage 6 (out of seven stages) on its EMR Adoption Model scale. This scale ranks about 5,300 hospitals nationally.
As of December, only 440 U.S. hospitals have achieved Stage 6, according to Akron Children’s officials.
“This is a huge achievement and puts Akron Children’s in the top 10 percent of hospitals nationwide,” said Tom Ogg, vice president and chief information officer. “This honor reflects not only the efforts of our [Information Technology] department, but the commitment of our entire organization, from the Board of Trustees and administration to the doctors and nurses on the front lines. Moreover, this is a huge win for our kids and their families.”
To date, Akron Children’s has invested about $50 million in its EMR conversion covering the inpatient and outpatient areas, including its decision to implement the Epic EMR and ancillary systems. This amount includes new computers and servers, an upgrade to the hospital’s wireless system and an extensive training effort.
According to HIMSS Analytics, Stage 6 designation recognizes Akron Children’s for achieving key implementation goals, such as having its lab, pharmacy and radiology management systems live and operational.
Stage 6 hospitals have clinical data repositories that allow doctors and clinical staff to retrieve and review patient records. For several of these areas, Akron Children’s is already at stage 7 levels, putting it in the top 2 percent of hospitals nationwide, according to Akron Children’s officials.
“EMR is an important tool that can be leveraged for the good of our patients,” said Dr. Jeff Hord, a pediatric hematologist/oncologist and president of the Akron Children’s Hospital Medical Staff. “It improves communication and the sharing of medical records between providers — even those working at different sites. There is simply less room for human error, whether it be a scribbled prescription or a miscalculated dose.”
Dr. Hord noted that all of Akron Children’s providers committed to 12 hours of in-class training and at least another three to four hours of online training before the hospital’s “go live” June 1.
Akron Children’s has plans to continue to upgrade and install new information technology in 2013 and is already implementing the final requirement to achieve Stage 7 level — creating a data warehouse to link the hospital’s clinical and financial information systems.
Stephanie Kist and Maria Lindsay contributed to these reports.
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