Watonga Republican


Watonga Republican
121st YEAR
No. 39 — Price 750
USPS #669-480©
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
2 Sections18 Pages
Watonga Republican
City council tackles town repairs,
property cleanup
Mercy Hospital Watonga Launches
Electronic Health Record
After eight weeks of training, co-workers are making health care history
This is a big week at Mercy
Hospital Watonga. Some may
even call it epic. Mercy's electronic health record (EHR),
called Epic, launches connecting the hospital to 31 other
Mercy hospitals, and nearly
2,000 providers and specialists
across four states.
"We've been preparing for
this and we can already see how
this system is going to make
managing health easier for our
patients," said Bobby Stitt,
administrator of Mercy
Hospital Watonga. "And it
means patients in Watonga —
who may not have local access
to medical specialists they need
— benefit from the input and
experience of those specialists
in other places like St. Louis,
Springfield and Oklahoma
If a Mercy Hospital Watonga
doctor needs a second opinion,
he can call on any of the 1,900
providers across Mercy to help.
With Epic, those Mercy specialists have immediate access to
the patient's medical history,
test results and physician notes.
The advantages go on and on
— better access to specialists,
less paper to store and manage,
no sloppy handwriting to misread, no waiting for records to
be transported from a lab to a
doctor. Mercy Clinic doctors,
nurses, practitioners and specialists will have immediate
access to patient records from
every nurses station, exam room
and doctor's office across the
four states Mercy serves:
Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and
It's full of advantages for
patients, too. Next time a doctor
asks a patient when the last time
she had her cholesterol levels
checked, she doesn't have to
wrack her memory trying to
come up with an accurate
answer. The doctor can pull up
the patient's electronic medical
record, look at the patient's history of tests and decide whether
it's time for another test, or not,
potentially saving patients the
cost, time and anxiety of going
through redundant testing.
Mercy Clinic doctors are
informed when their patients
have appointments with other
Mercy Clinic specialists, or visit
any Mercy urgent care facility
or emergency room. That
means primary care providers
can perform the follow-ups necessary after unexpected urgent
medical visits.
Plus, as EHR continues to
roll out in Watonga, patients
will have access to their medical
records, and the records of their
kids and other people whose
health they manage, using
MyMercy. This patient portal to
the electronic health record
allows patients to schedule
appointments with their physician, communicate via private
two-way messaging with their
care team, see lab results in a
jiffy, request prescription
renewals and pay bills online
from any computer or Internetready mobile device. More than
200,000 patients today are
enrolled in MyMercy.
It's a big learning curve for
co-workers, but Mercy has been
implementing EHR for nearly a
decade. Co-workers in Watonga
have been training for eight
weeks. Co-workers have been
learning every aspect of the
Epic system such as: registration, patient scheduling, procedure documentation for lab and
radiology, nursing and physician documentation in the medical record, medication administration and charting. Even coworkers in finance and medical
records require specialized
training on this system. For
Deadline July 19 for voter
Friday, July 19, 2013 is the
last day to apply for voter registration in order to be eligible to
vote in the August 13, 2013
Special Election, Blaine County
Election Board Secretary
Brenda Rice said today.
Rice said that persons who
are United States citizens, residents of Oklahoma, and at least
18 years old may apply to
become registered voters.
Persons who have never been
registered to vote before or who
are not currently registered in
the county of their residence
and persons who are registered
but who need to change their
registration information may
apply by filling out and mailing
an Oklahoma Voter
Registration Application form
in time for it to be postmarked
no later than midnight Friday
July 19, 2013.
Rice said that applications
postmarked after that time still
will be accepted and processed,
but the applications will not be
approved until after August 13,
The County Election Board
responds in writing to every
person who submits an application for voter registration. The
response is either a Voter
Identification Card listing the
new voter's precinct number
and polling place location or a
letter that explains the reason or
reasons the application for voter
registration was not approved.
Rice said that any person who
has submitted a voter registration application and who has
not received a response within
30 days should contact the
County Election Board office.
Oklahoma Voter Registration
Application forms are available
at the County Election Board
office located at 212 N. Weigle,
and at most post offices, tag
agencies, and public libraries in
the county. Rice said that applications also are available on the
Internet at
w w w . elections . ok. gov .
two weeks starting July 1, 90
co-workers from other Mercy
locations who are experienced
with Epic EHR will take turns
traveling to Watonga to support
staff during the switch.
"This is a big change in the
way we're doing things, so it's a
challenge," said Stitt. "But I've
been really impressed with how
quickly our co-workers have
picked it up. We know it's a
worthwhile effort, and we're
excited to be a part of this
change. We're making health
care history."
A federally-mandated electronic conversion of patients'
health records was instituted in
2009, but Mercy was ahead of
the curve, beginning the transition in 2004 with a $450 million
Electronic health records for
all 3 million patients served per
year at Mercy are safe in the
Mercy Data Center. Known as
the "Fort Knox of data storage,"
the $60 million, high-tech data
center — built to withstand tornado-force winds and constructed
in an area removed from earthquake fault lines — sits on a
bedrock foundation in
Washington, Mo., and has
access to alternate sources of
power. It's capable of transferring the entire contents of the
Library of Congress in less than
6.5 seconds.
Such forward thinking has
gained Mercy national attention,
like being named Health Care's
"Most Wired" by the American
Hospital Association in 2012,
an honor recognizing hospitals
for adoption, implementation
and use of information technology. Mercy CEO Lynn Britton
was honored in 2012 with the
CEO IT Achievement Award —
an award bestowed annually to
only three health care leaders in
the U.S.
Once again, on the minds of
the City Council members were
questions regarding enforcement of our City Codes. Certain
parts of the codes speak to
property maintenance such as
mowing and general maintenance. It has been a prevalent
concern to all the citizens that
folks should take care of their
property. Because some properties are run-down, need yards
mowed or both, the code
enforcement officer position
was created. Currently, the
position is being held by a fulltime police officer.
Consequently, he must use
spare time or otherwise to make
his rounds and initiate steps to
notify property owners that
they are in violation of city ordinances. These steps are the
beginning of a strict process
that must be done prior to issuing citations. Due process is followed and the city may clean
properties at the owners
Council members of the special Fire & Police committee,
Brent Wilkerson, Doyle
Province and Edna Justice met
on July 8 to discuss creating a
new full-time position for a
code enforcer.
The old emergency room
street sign from the hospital will
be making its new home at the
Route 66 Museum, Clinton.
Mary Larson said that plans
were coordinated and asked for
the council to approve the
release of the sign to the museum management.
The City approved continuing the support of the Chamber
in the amount of $5,000. annually. The money comes from the
City's general fund and covers
items such as: visitors guides,
new resident packets, business
and tax workshops and advertisement in state tourism publi-
The council discussed and
approved the plan to do a two
inch overlay on three street sections. Prouty to Norwood west
and the cul-de-sac ( deteriorated
partially because it is where the
trash trucks turn around); Laing
Street west on 7th street to
Newer street and Laing street
east to A Street. Donnie Dunn
stated that the project will cost
approximately $48,000. and
these areas have not been redone since the '70s.
The bid on replacing/removing the hangar at the airport
must be re-bid as per the council's decision. Reasoning was
that a misunderstanding was
made in that the bidders believed
the building was a new one. The
bid advertisement will now
state, "for cleanup, preparation
and installation of insulation."
All members were in attendance.
4 I
Dazzling fireworks display held on July 4th, Huff-Lorang
Park. The show was sponsored by the Lions Club, City
Council with donations from local businesses.
Air Force Airman Chelsea J.
Hoskins graduated from basic
military training at Joint Base
San Antonio-Lackland, San
Antonio, Texas.
The airman completed an
intensive, eight-week program
that included training in military
discipline and studies, Air
Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills.
Airmen who complete basic
training earn four credits
toward an associate in applied
science degree through the
Community College of the Air
Hoskins is the daughter of
Jessie Hoskins of Canton.
She is a 2012 Canton High
School graduate.
Heer's Country, Longdale Gym
Heer's Country will again feature the legendary Classic
Country artist, Buck Goucher and up and coming singer,
songwriter and entertainer, Jarod Cross at its second event
on Saturday, July 13 @ 7 p.m., Longdale CommunityGym,
Grassfires and
burglaries reported
Verlin Wayne Gallo reported
on July 1, that a knife had been
stolen from his residence. He
stated that it was a party that he
knows who took the knife which
was valued at $1,000.
Also on July 1, the Sheriffs
officers responded to a call in
the county regarding two brothers in a fight.
Firemen were on standby at
the casino at 8:30 p.m. during
the fireworks show July 5.
A grass fire was extinguished
July 6, 5:22 a.m., 9 mi. west
and south into. The fire was
cause by fireworks. Another
grass fire occurred at 10:15
p.m., 2 miles east and 1 mi.
south and was also caused by
EMS were dispatched, July 6.
2:15 p.m. to the Church at 1st
and S. Prouty aka 120 W. 1st.
One patient was transported.
July 7, medical personnel
transported one patient from
920 1/2 N. Forrest to the hospital at 11:33 p.m.
* State vs. Shanda Mae Lee,
A & B, guilty plea, one yr.
defer. Fine & fee $573.50.
*State vs. Sergio Barrera
Guzman, DUI, TOC beer, ins.
verif. & exp. decal.' guilty plea,
— Ct. 1— 1 yr. suspended. Ct. 2
& 3— pay fines and costs. Fines
& fees $1.941.70.
*State vs. Cody Kent
Hooten, DUI, speeding. guilty
plea, Ct. 1, 2 yrs defer., Ct. 2,
90 days deferred. Fines & fees
Laubachs purchase three newspapers in
Okeene, Canton and The Dewey County Record
(See full story on page A6)
David Kurtz
David Kurtz works for the
Light & Water Department at
the Waste Water Treatment
Plant as the WWTP
Manager/Operator under the
direction of Warren Rice,
supervisor. Kurtz is responsible
for the overall operation of the
Treatment Plant, including
maintenance & repair, daily
activities such as draining the
clarifiers and keeping the contents of the digester in good
condition and running lab tests
on waste water and other lab
testing of the City's drinking
water. He also aids co-workers
at the Light & Water Depart-
ment, should there be any emergencies or work in which they
need extra help.
Kurtz enjoys working with
all of the other city employees
and teaching the younger, less
experienced employees. He
likes working with the public
and helping others. Kurtz cites
as favorite employment activities problem solving, troubleshooting, work which
requires a lot of skill and or precision such as lab testing, and
electrical/mechanical troubleshooting and repair.
(Continued page 8)