By ROGER AMSDEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — Record keeping should become easier at the Belknap County Nursing Home as the county has approved the purchase of a dozen kiosks for medical staff to use.
Belknap County Commissioners Wednesday morning approved a request from Belknap County Nursing Home Interim Administrator Bob Hemenway to waive the county's competitive bidding process and award a $19,152 contract for purchase of dozen kiosks for the nursing home to CareWorx.
The change is designed to stem what Hemenway has estimated is a $185,420 yearly loss in Medicaid income due to lack of adequate documentation of services provided for residents.
He has said that most of the seven county nursing homes in the state which have been using an electronic medical records program have turned their situations around and are receiving increased reimbursements.
The kiosks are a key element in implementing an electronic medical records system for the county home and will be paid for with $20,000 in funds set aside from last year's capital improvements budget.
Commissioners were told by County Administrator Debra Shackett that action was imperative as the CareWorx quote for the project, which had been extended by the firm in order to allow the county to finalize its 2016 budget, would expire at the end of the day.
Hemenway said he recommended CareWorx because it has a good working relationship with PointClickCare, which provides software currently used by the nursing home, because its wall mounting system is superior to that of other bidders, and because it has a 24/7 help desk and provides a two-year extended warranty.
Commissioners also approved spending $16,000 for additional hardware for the project, $5,500 with PointClickCare for a server for the system, $5,000 with Mainstay Technologies for a 48-port switch and $5,500 with Northeast Electrical Solutions for wiring. Only $8,850 has been budgeted for that hardware and commissioners will seek to transfer $7,150 from the professional management services line in this year's budget to cover the additional expense.
The commission also approved using $12,440 to cover software costs for the new system.
Hemenway said the new system will be phased in over the next several months and that he doesn't anticipate it being fully functional until the end of the year.
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