Shared Information Technology (IT) Services

The Community Health Network was formed to share information technology (IT) resources among varying sized community health organizations across Tennessee, from one doctor, one location, to much larger groups in multiple locations. A Rural Health Network development grant funded the startup of the state wide area network (WAN) and a shared practice management system.

This program began out of need of the smaller centers to share IT resources available to the larger members. A willingness to share is a crucial ingredient.

Currently the services that have been offered are four centers operating 17 clinics share the practice management system while four others utilize some of their other services such as internet access and email. They do IT consulting for all 14 members of the group and are implementing an Electronic Health Record at two member sites. They are also implementing a state wide Telehealth Network in over 40 locations.

The network may have struggled in the early years due to bad leadership, but presently they’ve been stable for nearly four years., acheiving sustainability and expanding services. With consistent stable leadership and member commitment have been keys to network success.

The project goals are ever evolving as the membership grows and as the members within grow individually. The major goal of working together and sharing has been achieved and the group IT resources serve the stated purpose of keeping the group ahead of the IT curve.

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