More than 60 workers from St. Rita's Medical Center got bad news about their jobs Friday. They learned they're now unemployed. It was a big announcement from the biggest employer in Allen County. St. Rita's Health Partners is eliminating a number of managers and support personnel from it's staff.
The workers from St. Rita's Health Partners received letters Friday morning. Those letters carried heartbreaking news. The notices let employees know that they no longer have a job. President and CEO of St. Rita's Brian Smith, says technology changes are a big reason for the cuts. Early this summer...St. Rita's implemented the Carepath Electronic Medical Record System. The new technology eliminates the need for medical transcription positions. Before the system was implemented, someone would transcribe the physician's words. Now doctors can put in that information in the data base themselves.
Smith says even though the job cuts are hard to make, it's better for the patient. And that is the organization's number one priority.
The overwhelming need to provide free or discounted health care as well as to shrink their management footprint is also contributing to job cuts. However, Smith says employees impacted by the decision will not be hung out to dry.
St. Rita's in Lima employs more than 27 hundred people. Eliminating the 60 position represents a fraction of the overall St. Rita's workforce. Administrators say the cuts will have little impact on the remaining 97 percent of employees.
There is a concern however, that more layoffs could be made in the future. More job cuts could become a necessity because of proposed cuts to Medicare and reduced reimbursement fees planned for other federal programs.