On Tuesday, the Redwood Falls City Council approved a request from the Redwood Area Hospital to transition into keeping much of its computer hardware and records off-site.

As medical technology and insurance requirements increase, the amount of information hospitals are required to work with and store increases, too.

And so does the cost of storing that information.

On Tuesday, the Redwood Falls City Council approved a request from the Redwood Area Hospital to transition into keeping much of its computer hardware and records off-site.

Hospital CEO Brian Lydick said the hospital currently saves all information in a safe room, and on several on-site servers.

However, if a disaster hits the hospital, there’s only so much the “safe room” can do.

Also, federal law requires that the hospital update its hardware every few years to stay current with the latest security techniques.

The last time the hospital installed new servers to handle its computer needs was in 2011. In computer years, that one step up from the stone age.

Now the hospital is faced with a choice: upgrade its on-site servers again at a cost of several million dollars, or go with an off-site solution.

After considering the options the Hospital Commission and administration concluded it could save between $500,000 and $1.3 million over the next five years going with an off-site solution.

As a result, the hospitals information specialists and administration will post a request for Meditech hosting services searching for a new partner to offer hosting services.

In other city news, the council:

• Approved a request from the Redwood Area Hospital for the purchase of a multi-functional copier at a total cost of $15,976.

• Approved a request from the Redwood Area Hospital to continue its relationship with Acute Care, Inc. (ACI) as the hospital’s emergency room and hospitalists physician group for another three years.

However, the hospital commission and staff wished to expand the hospitalists’ hours to include every weekend, at added cost of approximately $20-25,000 more annually.

• Approved a Redwood Area Hospital request for the purchase of a new server from BusinessWare Solutions, at a cost of $6,6145, for capturing images and videos from medical devices.

• Approved a bid of $239,244 from Allied Blacktop of Maple Grove for the city’s 2015 seal coat improvements to city streets.

The area to be covered this summer will be the streets south of Highway 19/71, between Dekalb and Gould streets.

• Accepted an annual city drinking water report that showed the city’s water supply is safe, with no contaminants detected at levels which violate federal drinking water standards.

• Approved a request to close block 100 of E. 2nd Street on June 19 for NU Telecom Customer Appreciation Day.

• Approved the Redwood Falls Public Library accepting two more grants for its upcoming Outdoor Early Literacy Project, from Carl and Verna Schmidt ($10,000), and Impact Innovations ($200).

According to head librarian Teri Smith, the library has raised $30,000 toward its goal so far.