Health Department Receives Grant to Securely Digitize Medical Record

The Illinois Public Health Association (IPHA) Immunization Billing Project announced that the Town of Cicero’s Health Department has been certified for Stage 1 Meaningful Use, and will receive more than $21,000 as incentive to complete the computerized database system.

Town of Cicero Health Department Director Sue Grazzini began working in November 2015 with CDP, Inc., IPHA’s Romeoville-based partner on the Immunization Billing Project. The department began using ezEMRx, the electronic medical records system that includes complete revenue cycle management.  Soon after, it began work to become certified for Stage 1 Meaningful Use.

Meaningful Use is the use of a certified electronic health record (EHR) technology to capture patient demographics, medical records, and encounters.  Over time, local health departments complying with Meaningful Use are expected to see improved clinical outcomes and a more robust client database equipped to provide essential data and reports on their populations. The incentive program for Meaningful Use is broken out into three stages, each with different requirements and incentives associated with them.

Tiffany Cole, an employee of the Town of Cicero Health Department, spent several months sorting through paper files to cross-check past schedules and client charts, ensuring that at least 30 percent of the health department’s clientele was Medicaid eligible—a Meaningful Use requirement.

Grazzini said, “partnering with CDP and ezEMRx for Meaningful Use will make it much easier for us to report on these things in the future.”

The incentive money is helping the health department pay for upfront costs associated with establishing an electronic medical records system, including laptops, scanners, and training fees.

Grazzini is optimistic that the new venture in electronic health records and billing will pay off for the health department and she plans to reapply for Stage 2 Meaningful Use incentive monies when the health department’s certification is up next year.