Inland Northwest Health Services, the Spokane-based nonprofit owned jointly by Spokane's two main hospital systems, is seeking more than $10 million from the Legislature to fund several health-care initiatives. Separately, INHS is joining with Washington State University in a request for another $2 million for a health informatics research program here.
INHS is seeking:
$4.5 million to install a hospital information system at Western State Hospital, in Tacoma, and to connect the system to its computer-based health information network, which enables medical providers to share patient data securely between hospitals, clinics, and physicians' offices. INHS also is asking for $1.2 million, the first year's worth of the expected technical support and data-center services that will be needed once Western State is connected to the network.
$1.6 million to complete a similar system it has been installing at Eastern State Hospital, which is located in Medical Lake. INHS has been doing that work under a separate contract that is scheduled to end in June. The Spokane organization also is seeking $240,000 to cover the first year of technical support and services for that system.
$1.5 million to fund a pilot project intended to improve management of chronic diseases suffered by Medicaid patients. INHS says it would apply to the management of diseases the use of technology and practice models currently used to reduce the impact of workplace injuries. It would focus on Medicaid recipients who have asthma and diabetes.
$300,000 to enable INHS to connect its regional telehealth network, called Northwest TeleHealth, to other telehealth networks in Washington. Northwest TeleHealth is intended to improve access to specialty care for residents in rural communities by providing teleconferencing and other technology tools to rural providers.
$1.1 million to continue funding of the Eastern Washington Center for Occupational Health and Education, or COHE, that INHS operates here. The center processes workers' compensation claims and provides care coordination and return-to-work assistance. The Washington state Department of Labor and Industries has included that funding for the program in the 2009-2011 biennial budget. INHS is asking that the funding remains, and not be cut.
Separately, INHS, in collaboration with Washington State University, is requesting $2 million to fund a new informatics program in Spokane. Health informatics is a growing research and work-force area, using health-care data to improve clinical care, safety, and quality, and to address rising costs. The request includes a director, three research faculty, and support personnel, including four graduate research assistants.
INHS is owned jointly by Providence Health and Community Health Systems Inc.
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