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Harrington Foundation awards grant to aid regional healthcare providers

Connectivity is key.
Connectivity is key.
Photo courtesy Microsoft Clipart

The Don and Sybil Harrington Foundation may have just made it possible for regional hospitals and providers to safely and easily transfer patient health information.

The Coalition of Health Services will receive a grant for $250,000 to develop a “Regional Health Information Organization”. By creating an interface, providers can easily connect regardless of the type of software they use. It is the hope of all involved that patient care will be expedited. This potential enhancement of healthcare services is expected to benefit rural healthcare clinics and hospitals significantly.

Carolyn Witherspoon, executive director of the coalition, a nonprofit that works with health providers and agencies, told the Amarillo Globe News, "It's like a grain elevator. Everybody brings their grain into the elevator. Then the elevator decides where the grain goes." This project is forecasted to serve and assist providers across the Texas Panhandle, as well as, selected surrounding areas.

When asked about the time table for the project, Witherspoon said the end result will hopefully be reached in two years. The first eight to ten months are slated to focus on planning. Charlotte Rhodes, vice president of regional services for the Amarillo Area Foundation said, "Our grant is to create this process and make this happen. We feel very positive that this rural health information project is very possible."

The Coalition is hopeful that they will be able to create a system that can be duplicated and benefit many other regions in the future.

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