U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and U.S. Representative Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.3rd) today announced $256,500 in funding for the Rhea Medical Center from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC).
“This funding will help the Rhea Medical Center modernize its records to enhance service to patients in the area,” Sen. Lamar Alexander said. “ARC’s continued investment in our rural communities is bringing a better way of life to many East Tennesseans.”
“Electronic medicals records systems are essential to modernizing our nation’s health care delivery system and will directly improve the quality of care that patients receive,” Sen. Bob Corker said. “I thank the ARC for making this investment in the health and welfare of Rhea County residents.”
“By moving to an electronic medical records system, Rhea Medical Center will improve efficiency and increase the quality of service to its patients,” said Congressman Zach Wamp. “Having access to records electronically will help give medical staff real-time access to legible medical records that will enhance patient safety for those treated at the Center.”
This funding will help the Rhea Medical Center develop a new Electronic Medical Records (EMR) System. The ARC funds, along with $405,627 from local sources, will provide resources for the project’s acquisition of needed equipment, training, installation, and licensing. The Medical Center provides medical care services for about 39,500 patients annually. The new EMR system will automate internal records management, facilitate better patient case management, and allow clinicians of all types to access patient records in “real time.”
The ARC is a federal-state partnership that supports economic development and improved quality of life in Appalachia. Appalachia, as defined in the legislation from which the ARC derives its authority, is a 200,000-square-mile region that follows the spine of the Appalachian Mountains from southern New York to northern Mississippi. It includes all of West Virginia and parts of 12 other states: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. About 23 million people live in the 410 counties of the Appalachian Region; 42 percent of the Region's population is rural, compared with 20 percent of the national population.
The Tennessee counties included as part of the ARC include: Anderson, Bledsoe, Blount, Bradley, Campbell, Cannon, Carter, Claiborne, Clay, Cocke, Coffee, Cumberland, De Kalb, Fentress, Franklin, Grainger, Greene, Grundy, Hamblen, Hamilton, Hancock, Hawkins, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Loudon, McMinn, Macon, Marion, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Overton, Pickett, Polk, Putnam, Rhea, Roane, Scott, Sequatchie, Sevier, Smith, Sullivan, Unicoi, Union, Van Buren, Warren, Washington, and White.