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Bartlett finance committee sends purchases on to full board

Updates to electronic system expected to cost $6.6M over 10 years

Posted: October 17, 2012 - 11:10pm

Bartlett is eyeing $208,000 in capital expenditures to upgrade its diabetes detection hardware and support infrastructure for a dictation system and electronic health record keeping.

The hospital’s current diabetes test machine is “outdated and no longer supported,” Ken Brough Bartlett CFO said. The hospital plans to spend $11,276 on the device and interface.

Bartlett Regional Hospital Finance Committee moved the budget request to the full board Tuesday evening.

A replacement for Bartlett’s current dictation system is expected to cost $34,863.

An upgrade to Bartlett’s wireless system is expected to cost $103,117 with an extra $46,475 for a switch upgrade and $13,583 for a Cisco internet router among other expenses.

Bartlett’s total expenditure would include equipment, software license and services rendered.

Updates to Bartlett’s wireless system are expected to support the hospital’s adoption of an electronic health records system by Cerner.

The system is expected to cost $6.6 million total over ten years - $4.1 million beyond what Bartlett has already paid. In addition, the hospital would incur annual costs that reach $1 million.

“Cerner is a good system,” Brough said. “What I am struggling with is the price tag.”

The costs incurred by other hospitals have been much less than Bartlett’s bill, Brough said.

“Is this alarming enough … to go back and find out how we got here,” Committee member Alex Malter said. “It really seems like it’s many multiples more than what you were led to believe.”

Bartlett has compared several electronic health records technologies and settled on the product offered by Cerner.

• Contact reporter Russell Stigall at 523-2276 or at russell.stigall@juneauempire.com.

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