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Grant to help generate Health Network

$1.5 million federal Department of Health and Human Services grant will be used to set up a health information technology network in Pointe Coupee Parish, state health officials announced.

The grant funds will be used to link 11 rural health-care providers serving the region so they can by electronic means share medical information about patients they serve.

Network members consist of Pointe Coupee General Hospital, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, four local rural health clinics administered by Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in New Roads, Innis Community Health Center, Better Access to Community Health, two private practice chief care clinics and Pointe Coupee Homebound Health and Hospice.

“Establishing this network is going to change the way health care is delivered in Pointe Coupee,” state Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Dr. Roxane Townsend stated in a news release.

“We expect to see improved patient safety, lower health care costs and improved management of chronic disease through streamlined electronic information sharing.”

Rural Pointe Coupee Parish is a designated health-care shortage area for chief, mental health and dental care. The parish is also considered a medically underserved area.

While there are nine private providers locally, 50 percent of them are close to retirement and have considerably reduced their hours of operation. In addition, the 25-bed Pointe Coupee General Hospital is the only hospital in the parish.

Establishing an electronic health information network expected to improve on the whole health-care system and, more prominently, improve patient care.

DHH officials said, several other Louisiana parishes and communities are working to develop projects or have implemented health information technology on a smaller scale.



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