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Whidbey General Hospital board approves $108,000 in purchases

The Whidbey General Hospital Board of Commissioners approved $108,000 in unbudgeted capital purchases Monday evening for a backup power supply and software upgrade package.

The expenses are necessary, Tom Tomasino, chief executive officer, told the board Monday night.

Last summer the hospital’s backup power supply, or Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), for its Management Information Systems Department failed, he said. The seven-year-old system was at the end of its projected “five to seven-year lifespan.”

Since then, the hospital has leased a UPS. However, the six-month lease is up with no option to renew, Tomasino said.

Uninterrupted power supplies are used as a kind of “insurance” to keep the electronic data system continuously running through power outages. Without it, an interruption in the power supply could cause the loss or corruption of electronic data, Tomasino said.

“All it does is maintain power in the system so it all doesn’t come crashing down,” he said.

The last UPS cost $30,000, but that was seven years ago and it was not as sophisticated as the new power supply, which costs $79,000.

“I recognize this is a bit of money, but it’s something we cannot put off,” he told the board.

The board unanimously agreed to allow the purchase of a new UPS for $79,000.

Tomasino’s second request included the purchase of a $29,000 “Service Bridge” software program, which will enhance the current data collection program, called Washington Emergency Medical Services Information System, or WEMSIS.

WEMSIS is supplied by the Department of Health and required by the state of Washington, however, it doesn’t fully fit the needs of Whidbey General.

The Service Bridge will allow an auto download of ICOM data, provide more fields for specific data input, allow for more accurate regional data searches and save time, Tomasino said.

Currently the hospital uses a combination electronic and paper system to record data. With this program it’ll be all electronic.

Dr. Paul Zaveruah recused himself from the vote, however, he enthusiastically gave his 2-cents on the subject, which he said has been discussed on and off over the last decade.

“It makes the whole process sing and dance,” he said of the Service Bridge. “This is a $29,000 investment to build on the state’s system for something that costs $100,000 on its own.”

The board unanimously voted in favor of the $29,000 Service Bridge purchase.

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