12 May Rural hospitals get technology funding boost
Madison, Wis. – Forward Community Investments, a community development loan fund, has closed on a $400,000 loan to help the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative deploy information technology in the state’s rural hospitals.
The loan, which is the final piece of a $5 million funding package, was made to the cooperative’s Information Technology Network. The network will use the funding to roll out its unified health information technology system, which was developed to reduce costs and improve care.
Rural hospitals have more challenges than their urban counterparts in affording the large capital investments needed for new technology. Louis Wenzlow, chief information officer for the Network, said in a release that rural hospitals are trying to implement electronic medical record systems, and fund the staff to support EMRs, by pooling their resources.
The Network, called the RHWC ITN, is an affiliate of the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative. When completed in January of 2009, the network will serve communities in Vernon, Monroe, Juneau, Sauk, Richland, Grant, and Lafayette counties.
Forward Community Investments was created in 1994 to expand the financial capacity of Wisconsin nonprofit organizations through low-cost financing and technical help. It has distributed over $12 million to nonprofit groups.
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