By Natasha Robinson, MPCA Communications Specialist
Catherine’s Health Center has won a technology makeover worth $30,000 from a local organization that will add new equipment to enhance patient service.
The Grand Rapids-based Health Center was awarded the first-prize technology grant on January 10 by Trivalent Group. The Michigan-based IT company started the CompassionIT initiative last year and solicited proposals from nonprofits. Catherine’s Health Center Executive Director Karen Kaashoek said the clinic’s technology now consists of new and donated pieces that varied in age and capacities.
“Technology for nonprofits is always a big issue because it’s obsolete by the time you buy it. And when you get it donated, it’s doubly obsolete,” Kaashoek said. “For once — to be getting what we need, even a piece as a baseline — is amazing for us.”
Kaashoek said the Health Center “made due because we have these genius technology volunteers who could make a system run on paperclips and Band-Aids.”
Appointment scheduling is the only fully electronically-based service that Catherine’s Health Center has in place now; medical records are paper-based and billing is completed through a third-party website. Kaashoek said that having adequate technology will help the Health Center prepare for the future and implement programs such as electronic medical records and a cloud system that will allow staff to virtually access information from any work station.
“There’s a certain technology base you have to have,” Kaashoek said. “You have to have work stations that are functional to handle applications that can be shared through the server, and are able to scan searchable, modifiable documents that can be received and transmitted.”
Winners were selected through a process that included voting on social media sites and a panel of judges. Catherine’s Health Center anticipates a visit this week from an IT team that will evaluate their technology needs and give them a technology roadmap to address weaknesses.