Indian Health Service
The Indian Health Service is the federal health program for American Indians and
Alaska Natives. IHS operates a network of hospitals and clinics throughout the United States, often in remote areas. An agency of the Department of Health and Human Services (D-HHS), IHS serves a population that, as of 2009, included members of 564 federally recognized tribes. These 1.9 million American Indians and Alaska Natives reside in or near reservations in 35
states. Click here for an IHS fact sheet detailing facilities, patient services and more.
Medsphere is under contract to support and enhance the IHS electronic health record solution or Resource Patient Management System. We provide training, support, maintenance and development contract services for RPMS. IHS network affiliates around the country use RPMS in both ambulatory and inpatient settings. As of Dec. 31, 2009, Medsphere was supporting approximately 31 federal hospitals, 74 federal health centers/stations, nine (9) tribal hospitals, 98 tribal health centers/stations and five (5) urban health centers/stations. These numbers are growing, so click here for the most up-to-date data on the Medsphere/IHS EHR initiative.
Medsphere's efforts are helping IHS facilities improve quality, safety and efficiency of patient care. They are also helping them achieve meaningful use of health IT. Click on IHS and meaningful use to access "What You Need to Know About Meaningful Use," a document prepared by IHS Meaningful Use Project Lead Stephanie Klepacki et al.
2008—HIMSS 2008 Davies Award—The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society honored the Cherokee Indian Hospital Authority with the HIMSS Nicholas E. Davies Public Health Award of Excellence in recognition of CIHA's power use of RPMS. The Davies Award recognizes the impact of information technology and information management on improving the health of a defined population, and CIHA's Cherokee Indian Hospital is the primary medical home and public health provider for an active user population of 10,000-plus members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. (CIHA is the governing body for the hospital as an independent component of the Band's tribal government.) Final outcomes reported (2007) as compared to baseline (2004) showed improvement in screening for 10 different measures impacting overall population health. Click here for the HIMSS news release.
IHS Report Details Upgrades for RPMS EHR
Feb. 23, 2010—IHS intends to develop several parts of its EHR system in 2010, including upgrades that would adhere to new federal regulations for "meaningful use" of EHRs, according to a new report from IHS' Office of Information Technology. Click here for the excerpt from the Federal Computer Week report.
'We Have A Lot To Teach The Country'
Feb. 12, 2010—Says IHS Director Yvette Roubideaux: "(RPMS) has been able to provide not just health information on our patients, but also assist us with administrative and business functions. I think that is a great example of how we can help teach the rest of the country how to do these things." Click here to access Kaiser Health News reporter Jessica Marcy's article on IHS entitled "We Have A Lot To Teach The Country." The article also details the unfortunate and significant health disparities between American Indians and Alaska Natives and the general U.S. population.
IHS Use of RPMS in California
Nov. 22, 2009—To illustrate "Federal push to digitize health records" by Dean Calbreath in the , San Diego Union-Tribune, photographer John Gastaldo went to Alpine, Calif.. to capture Southern Indian Health Council Medical Director Joseph Abramowitz, M.D., in the act of accessing patient Michael Robbins' medical records via RPMS. Click here to access the U-T photo of SIHC and the article, which discusses the stimulus impact of the HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) Act.
Medsphere Announces Five-year $9.7M IHS Contract
Nov. 12, 2008—Click here for a news release announcing Medsphere's five-year $9.7 million contract to provide support, maintenance, training and development for RPMS. This contract extended and expanded Medsphere's existing relationship with IHS, which includes a commitment to support VueCentric®, the RPMS GUI (graphical user interface) framework used by clinicians at hundreds of IHS healthcare facilities nationwide to access disparate applications in a single "view."
Click here for Fort Defiance Indian Hospital, a Navajo Area IHS Facility near Window Rock, Ariz.