Health records now a click away, with electronic system

Eight public health clinics operate in Deschutes County and until recently, when a patient from one showed up without notice at another clinic, health workers often had little information about the person.

“We would have to fax the pertinent information that we needed to the other clinic,” said Cherstin Callon, clinical information systems
analyst for the county. “If it’s scheduled and we know that they were going to be there, we would plan it ahead of time and have the
chart there.

“We had some of our staff be couriers, so what they would do is if they were going between the clinics, they would take the charts
in secure vacuum bags.”

That changed Tuesday, when the county launched its electronic health records system, making it simpler for nurses and other county public health workers to access patients’ information at all eight clinics. Read more here.


School-based clinics in danger of closing

Construction has just begun on a new Sisters school-based clinic. But by the time it opens in 2013, the Deschutes County Health Services Department may be forced to consider shutting it down.

Five school-based clinics opened in Deschutes County over the past decade. It began with La Pine, where a health center opened in 2004 at the campus where the elementary, middle and high schools are located. Most recently, a clinic opened at Redmond High in 2011. There are also clinics at Bend’s Ensworth Elementary and Bend High, and M.A. Lynch Elementary in Redmond.

Even as the clinics expand, there are already questions about their future. Read more here.