Health IT Instrumental in Revitalizing Mental Health, Preventive Care for New Mexico Hospital

If healthcare leaders seriously put their minds to it, implementing new and efficient health IT solutions where they are needed most can play a role in truly transforming how care is delivered. In a part of New Mexico where residents are ravaged by alcohol addiction and short on behavioral healthcare, leaders revitalized a failing mental health facility and implemented preventive health initiatives through strategic data sharing.

After David Conejo was made CEO of Rehoboth McKinley Christian Health Care Services (RMCHCS), located in the town of Gallup, New Mexico, he worked closely with the system’s chief operating officer, William Kiefer, to take full advantage of the Affordable Care Act’s incentive programs that rewarded preventive care services by joining an accountable care organization (ACO), according to a Health Data Management story.

Conejo recognized that to be successful in preventive care—especially across three other clinics in the RMCHCS system, physicians in every setting needed access to all of the information collected about its patients. So Conejo chose a suite of applications that includes a cloud solution that streamlines and integrates data from the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS), annual wellness visits, chronic care management, and care transition between physical and behavioral health services.

Joe Wright, the hospital’s director of clinical services, told the publication that since physicians have the ability to access all of a patient’s records during an office visit through the new web and cloud applications, they are able to save valuable time and see more patients.

As a result of all the changes, patient wellness visits have increased by 50 percent, hospitalizations related to chronic conditions like diabetes have decreased, beds are consistently filled at the improved behavioral health facility, and revenue has increased thanks to bonuses for participation in an ACO.

Read more here.

Mary Butler is the associate editor at Journal of AHIMA.

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