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INHS establishes a full-time MedStar helicopter base in Moses Lake

Northwest MedStar, the air-transport medical service, is setting up a permanent base in Moses Lake.

For the past two summers the service has operated a helicopter day base about nine miles north of Moses Lake through an agreement with Grant County Fire District 5.

The decision by nonprofit INHS establishes a fulltime base, with a registered nurse, respiratory therapist, pilot and mechanic. They will handle emergency responses and assist in transports between regional hospitals.

 A permanent hangar will be constructed later this year to house the helicopter.

 The full-time base provides more direct air transport services and decreased response time for north central Washington, said an INHS press release.

Google Health plans to shut down at the end of the year

Google HealthA Google Health pilot program to collect and manage personal health records for some Spokane residents will shut down on Jan. 1, 2012.

The closure affects about 280 Spokane patients who used Google Health in conjunction with 1HealthRecord, an online system to connect medical information to health providers.

Google, the Silicon Valley tech giant, developed Google Health in 2008 as a central hub to collect medical information and manage which medical providers can access it.

Google launched dozens of tests of the online personal record management system nationwide. Google recently said it will shut down Google Health at the end of this year.

As one of three pilot projects statewide, Spokane patients at three provider clinics, Heart Clinics Northwest, Physicians Clinic of Spokane and Rockwood Clinic, were invited to use 1HealthRecord to upload medications and allergy records into their personal, online health record in Google Health.

Northwest Health Services (INHS) developed 1HealthRecord as an application for use with current and future personal health record systems.

Spokane companies get community service awards

The Association of Washington Business Tuesday recognized two Spokane companies for community Service.

Inland Northwest Health Services received the education award for companies with more than 100 employees.

Inland created EMS Lite @ Nite, an interactive video-conferencing program that enables volunteer rural emergency medical service providers to get and maintain their certification without having to leave work, or their communities.

The system reaches 108 rural locations, and serves an average 208 participants each trainiing session.

The volunteerism award for companies with fewer than 25 employees went to Craig Dias, general manager of Haskings Steel Co. Inc.

Among the boards Dias serves on are the Rotary Club 21's youth services committee and the advisory council for the Inland Northwest Lighthouse for the Blind's fund-raising committee.

Should Legislature step into Spokane hospital fight?

OLYMPIA – The dispute between Spokane’s two biggest hospitals spilled over into the legislative session Tuesday as a Senate panel considered changing a law that would determine how a judge could settle any impasse.

The dispute involves Inland Northwest Health Services, a non-profit jointly operated by the companies that own Sacred Heart and Deaconess medical centers. INHS operates an electronic medical records system, an air ambulance service and other systems shared by the two hospitals as well as other hospitals, clinics and doctors in Spokane and around the region.

Each has a vote on the INHS board, but can’t agree, which presents the region with a dilemma, State Rep. John Driscoll, D-Spokane. said. Under state law, if a non-profit board is deadlocked and takes the dispute to Superior Court, a judge has few options other than dissolving the corporation.

To read the rest of the story, go inside the blog