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Memorial Hospital, Sweetwater County, Wyo.
Memorial Hospital, Sweetwater County, Wyo.
Two Memorial Hospital workers use MedSphere's OpenVista platform for EHR.
Up front cost: $2 million
Annual service contract: $150,000

Memorial Hospital knew it needed EHR to cut down on time and costs, but finally made the switch when it saw the handwriting on the wall.

"We were totally paper three years ago, which was cumbersome," said Linda Simmons, vice president of operations and chief nursing officer at Memorial. "Nurses were spending an inordinate amount of time double-, triple- and quadruple-charting. And with regulatory changes coming down the road, we decided to make the switch."

Due to its small size, the hospital has to transfer patients out to more urban hospitals if they need to see a specialist. Simmons said sometimes they would tuck a critical-condition patient's chart under his or her arm before sending him or her off in a helicopter.

After a steep learning curve, hospital workers now rely heavily on EHR. Simmons said the system had to be taken down for six hours in June for servicing, and "everyone was freaking out about going to paper. They feel lost without [EHR]."

NEXT: Western North Carolina Health Network
Last updated July 31 2009: 3:54 AM ET
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