North Dakota practice moves to electronic records

Mid Dakota Clinic, a multi-specialty practice serving Bismarck, N.D. and neighboring rural regions, announced today it will be joining the burgeoning number of office-based practices that have implemented an electronic health record (EHR) system to spur better practice management and care coordination across its clinics.

The clinic, comprising more than 60 healthcare providers, offers an array of healthcare services to a growing population of rural patients in central and western North Dakota.

It will tap Watertown, Mass.-based athenahealth for EHRs, medical billing technology, practice management and patient communications services. The new IT, officials say, will enable Mid Dakota Clinic to streamline administrative work often the result of regulation, such as the impending transition to ICD-10 and achieving meaningful use Stage 2 requirements, and also provide their physicians with tools to more efficiently communicate with their patients before, during, and after an exam.

[See also: New federal survey shows physicians positive about EHRs.]

"Having provided care to the Bismarck-Mandan area for many years, our organization is woven into the DNA of this region," said Jeff Neuberger, CEO of Mid Dakota Clinic PrimeCare. "But in order to ensure we can continue to flourish amidst a changing health care environment and an ever growing population which includes young, tech-savvy families, implementing practice management and care coordination services is more necessary than ever before. Our physicians are constantly striving to keep up with burdensome regulation and administrative tasks that take away from their ability to treat more patients and provide better care."

"Mid Dakota Clinic is a shining example of how important implementing cloud-based services can be to the vitality of rural practices whose patients in the community may not be able to travel for care elsewhere,” said Jonathan Bush, chairman and CEO of athenahealth. “As more primary care providers consider ACOs and other shared-savings models, they'll need better, more coordinated technology to deliver care across an entire network of providers. We're thrilled that we can help Mid Dakota Clinic improve the quality of care for their patients while helping them thrive through oncoming changes in health care."