Orange, San Mateo Counties Use Disease Tracking Programs
Orange County officials are considering spending nearly $1 million to implement a disease-tracking system for the 140,000 clinical tests administered by the county annually, the Orange County Register reports.
The automated program, by Cerner, also would create a database of laboratory results, which would help the county track diseases and infections, such as rabies and avian flu, the Register reports.
Orange County spokesperson Howard Sutter said the county already owns the laboratory-tracking software, but it would cost $998,000 to implement and another $81,000 annually to maintain the program.
The Register notes that Cerner was the company that provided the county with a flawed computer system that took two years to repair. The Orange County Board of Supervisors plans to pay Cerner $1.6 million it withheld from the company while the $11 million computer system was being fixed. The repaired component, which handles Medi-Cal reimbursements from the state, was brought online in August, and officials say it "works so well that the county is receiving Medi-Cal reimbursements faster than ever."
The board also is considering hiring a consultant, who would be paid $235,000 a year, to oversee the Cerner programs in the county. The computer contract proposals were scheduled to go before the board on Tuesday but were taken off the agenda, the Register reports (Saavedra, Orange County Register, 12/20).
About 45% of patients at the San Mateo Medical Center now have their blood sugar levels under control, compared with 37% last year, due in part to a new computer tracking program, the San Mateo County Times reports.
In addition, 60% of patients now have acceptable cholesterol levels, compared with 46% last year, the Times reports.
The computer program, which was modeled after one used by Kaiser Hospital, compiles and tracks the results of tests that patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes get annually. The program can generate a checklist for physicians during office visits, the Times reports.
The program will be implemented in other county-run health clinics and it eventually could be used to treat other chronic diseases such as heart disease and hypertension, according to the Times. The clinic also credits new patient education programs for the significant improvements (Ernde, San Mateo County Times, 12/19).