‘It’s a New Way of Caring for People’: Clay County Gets Healthier With Clinic’s New Electronic Record System

Eric Eyre | The Charleston Gazette | February 11, 2008

When Dr. Sarah Chouinard sits down to examine a patient these days, she often gets more use out of her laptop computer than her stethoscope.

With one touch, Chouinard can see patients’ vitals — blood pressure, weight, height, temperature and body mass index —that day and from all previous visits. She also reviews patients’ medications and determines whether they have kept up with recommended screenings, blood work and exams.

“We can look at trends over time, and we can use it as a teaching tool for the patient,” said Chouinard, who works at Primary Care Systems health center in Clay County. “It’s a new way of caring for people.”

It seems to be working. A new study shows that Primary Care’s electronic record system has improved health care for Clay County patients with chronic problems and diseases. The report — published by the Community Health Network of West Virginia — examined diabetic patients and obese children served at the Clay County clinic. Clay County has some of the highest rates of diabetes and childhood obesity in the state and nation.