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Cascade Medical Group awarded $20,000 for IT

Anastacia Wall, a physician assistant student at the Cascade Medical Group in Arlington, can check comprehensive medical records for each patient with a few mouse-clicks. -
Anastacia Wall, a physician assistant student at the Cascade Medical Group in Arlington, can check comprehensive medical records for each patient with a few mouse-clicks.
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ARLINGTON The Cascade Medical Group hopes their grant from the Washington Health Care Collaborative will allow them to serve their patients more quickly and cost-effectively.
CMG Practice Manager Corrin Chatterton explained that the group was awarded $20,000 to upgrade their health care information technology, by purchasing nine laptops, two wireless access ports and a new firewall router for their medical care providers.
We already have our patients medical records stored electronically, Chatterton said. What this allows us to do is travel from room to room with those electronic patient charts.
Chatterton noted that CMG had attempted such a wireless system before, but she deemed its quality level much lower than their current system. She also touted the improvements in their electronic medical record system, which now imports and converts printed text to digital data much faster.
Because this lets all of us access more complete versions of each patients chart, we can check which specialists theyve already seen and when, on our own laptops, Chatterton said. It gives us a more complete picture of each patients health, which means we can offer more complete health care in turn.
CMGs Dr. Mark Spencer echoed Chattertons description of the system as drawing together several little things at once, to develop a broader understanding of each patients needs.
We can look at a patients blood work, going back three or four years, right on the screen, Spencer said. We can compare cholesterol levels, type in searches and send all of our information to other specialists or consultants. It contains copies of all a patients lab tests and progress notes. It even means that prescriptions are legible now.
The comprehensiveness of these electronic records lets CMGs medical care providers keep track of multiple prescriptions per patient, and how they might interact, as well as search online for potential side effects.
Ultimately, it helps us provide the safest care at the lowest cost, Spencer said.

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