BY MICHAEL RICONDA
The Rockland County Legislature held a discussion on February 26 on upcoming updates to fully-electronic record-keeping systems within the Department of Health in line with federal Medicaid protocol.
Town of Orangetown Councilman and Assistant Director of MIS Application Development at Camp Venture Denis Troy presented a general overview of the project, which has been in planning since 2001 and will replace current legacy systems with new systems which accommodate electronic billing.
Also Included in the changeover will be technology updates for technicians and nurses to ensure easy access to up-to-date medical records. Most of what is in use for OMH are legacy systems.
Even if Summit Park nursing home is sold and its patients transferred to Nyack Hospital in 2014 as has been speculated, Troy explained the updates will still be an asset because it provides critical hospital functions and fulfills federal requirements, preserving $50 million in state funding.
“The [Summit Park] hospital may be sold by October of 2014, but the fact still remains that the Health Department will still be here, Mental Health outpatients will still be here, and whatever departments are left in the hospital will still be here,” Troy explained.
Before the project is complete, a consultant will be brought in next week to evaluate the current system over a period of six months and help the Department of Health develop sale requirements, find vendors, look at prices, and select vendor candidates.
Troy, who is also an Orangetown councilman, explained the study and will also add to the appeal of the hospital in a sale, providing crucial information on the system to potential buyers and possibly attracting to buyers accustomed to older record-keeping systems.
Legislator John Murphy, who brought the discussion to the legislature, emphasized the rapid but necessary nature of the changes and urging support for reasonable financial requests.
“They deserve a lot of support,” said Murphy, who represents parts of Orangetown in the County Legislature.
Joining Murphy was Legislator Jay Hood, who remarked on the expensive nature of the project, but argued for the legislature’s need to be consistent in spending on critical items.