Fletcher Allen Health Care, a Burlington, Vt.-based academic health center that includes a 500-bed tertiary-care hospital and 30 patient-care sites, is seeking state approval to create a $57.2 million electronic health-record network. State law requires hospitals to submit certificate-of-need applications for any capital improvements exceeding $3 million.
The system, according to a news release, would include information on virtually every aspect of patient care, and would help reduce medical errors and delays in treatment. Roughly 750 physiciansabout half of the state's practicing doctorsare credentialed at Fletcher Allen and would have access to the patient-records system. The records would be accessible at all 30 healthcare sites.
Melinda Estes, president and chief executive officer for the healthcare system, said the IT project should help position the system as a national model for high-quality healthcare in a rural area. Fletcher Allen officials estimate the project will take approximately three years to implement. The healthcare system plans to pay for the project out of a reserved cash fund.