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Inside a Critical Access Hospital's IT Decision-Making Process

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, for HealthLeaders Media, January 18, 2012

Steven L. Kelley, president and CEO of Ellenville Regional Hospital in Ellenville, NY, admits that he's a bit "fanatical" when it comes to efficiency. To show just how efficient things are at Ellenville, Kelley offered this little fact: In 2011, the average length of stay in the 25-bed, rural critical access hospital's ED was 93 minutes.

So perhaps it's no surprise that when it came to choosing an EHR vendor, Kelley wanted to find the "best opportunity for getting to meaningful use in the shortest amount of time," he says.

For him, that meant remote hosting.

"I did not want to look at any vendors that did not have a remote hosting model," he tells HealthLeaders Media. That's because Kelley says his business is healthcare, not IT.

"I did not want to be in the computer business," he says, so he quickly nixed the idea of onsite hosting. "I felt it would be much more expensive and the kind of system that we would be able to afford would require a lot more staff."

Indeed, Kelley says he looked around at hospitals in the surrounding communities and saw relatively large IT staffs; at least they were larger than Ellenville's previous IT staff of one (it's now doubled to two).

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