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Behind the list with Dr. Kent Carr

Dr. Kent Carr is in charge of day-to-day operations of the 20 practices that comprise Lancaster General Medical Group.

Dr. Kent Carr is in charge of day-to-day operations of the 20 practices that comprise Lancaster General Medical Group.

Central Penn Business Journal chatted with him about what’s new with his practices, what’s on the horizon and how he feels about proposed federal health care reform.

Q: What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in Lancaster General Medical Group over the past year?

A: The biggest change in the last year has been implementing electronic health records. That is, we put them in about two-thirds of the practices now. That’s a huge change for the docs; it changes the way they work.

What do you anticipate will be the benefits of having electronic health records?

The biggest thing is easy access to a patient’s information, hopefully eliminating duplication going to different offices. Doctors will all have access to charts if patients call. We’re not always going to be looking for that missing chart.

How about the biggest challenge in implementing electronic health records?

The biggest challenge will be the change in the way people work. We have a lot of doctors who’ve been seeing patients 10 to 20 years a certain way. It’s totally different when you have electronic health records. The computer (can) sort of get in the way of your relationship (to patients); you have to learn how to incorporate it into your visit.

What’s next for Lancaster General Medical Group?

Standardizing some of our purchasing, standardizing quality measures, finding best practices within the group.

What’s your best management advice?

Remembering it’s physicians who are taking care of the patients, and we’re here to support those physicians and indirectly take care of patients by supporting the physicians.

What do you think about what’s happening nationally with health care reform?

I think there is a need for health care reform, but I’m not sure what the best answer is. I think we are all sitting back waiting to find out what Congress is going to pass. We’re all concerned it’s going push us in a direction that may not be the best in terms of patients and physicians.

So what do you think is needed?

I think certainly there are some good parts to the legislation, (such as) increasing access for the uninsured and making sure they do have some insurance and access to care. … My concern is that this just is going to be payment reform instead of true health care reform. … It isn’t just seeing how we can pay less to the existing system. We need to redesign care.
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About Dr. Kent Carr

Dr. Kent Carr, 53, is a native of Pittsburgh. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Davidson College and his medical degree from East Carolina State University School of Medicine. Before coming to LGH, Carr was president and CEO of Mercy Clinics Inc. in Des Moines, Iowa. While there, he served on the boards of Midwest Medical Insurance Holding Co., Midwest Medical Insurance Co., Mercy North Ambulatory Surgery Center and West Lakes Ambulatory Surgery Center. Carr is a member of the American College of Physician Executives, the Medical Group Management Association, the American Medical Group Association, the American College of Healthcare Executives, the American Medical Association and American College of Physicians.

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