Electronic Health Records

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3 Hospitals Recognized for Highest Level of EHR Adoption

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Cincinnati Children’s, and Grady Health Systems join the 4.6 percent of hospitals achieving top honors based on the HIMSS Analytics model for EHR adoption.

Hospital EHR Adoption

Source: Thinkstock

By Kate Monica

- Several hospitals have recently joined the growing number of healthcare organizations prioritizing streamlined EHR adoption. Specifically, these hospitals are reaching top levels in the HIMSS Analytics Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM).

The first to achieve acute care Stage 7 on this model as Georgia-based Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. The institution was recognized for its efforts to optimize patient safety, EHR interoperability, and health IT reliability through the work of their clinicians, IT staff members, and quality experts.

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is using its hospital EHR technology to accommodate higher quality research and clinical care across providers, hospitals, and outpatient facilities statewide.

EMRAM, an eight-stage EHR Adoption plan, was designed to help hospitals track health IT implementation and adoption compared to other healthcare organizations across the country. Reaching acute care Stage 7 is a significant milestone, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is now part of a small pool of only 4.6 percent of hospitals to earn the distinction.

Organizations that successfully pass each level of HIMSS Analytic’s EMRAM, which tracks EHR progress at hospitals and healthcare systems, and complete a positive evaluation by HIMSS Analytics achieve Stage 7 status. This distinction points to the institutions’ ability to integrate EHR technology successfully into quality care delivery.

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta properly utilized information technology care and data analytics functionalities to yield improvements for emergency services and patient acuity changes, according to HIMSS officials.

"Children’s has implemented advanced technology capabilities that include capturing discrete data into the EHR as well as Big Data systems to provide advanced analytical capabilities driving care-improvement," said HIMSS Analytics Global Vice President of Healthcare Advisory Services John H. Daniels, CNM, FACHE, FHIMSS, CPHIMS, group, in a public statement.

Likewise, Cincinnati Children’s was recognized with Stage 7 on EMRAM for their success in implementing and utilizing EHR technology to improve patient care in kidney transplant patients.

The Kidney Transplant team at Cincinnati Children’s is using health IT to optimize accurate patient prescriptions, a notorious obstacle for children who have undergone kidney transplants.

The organization uses a planning reporting tool integrating data from several sources including the institution’s EHR technology platform. Benefits to this reporting tool include risk scoring, “smart” pillbox data, and a patient adherence self-reporting questionnaire. The information is then used to formulate strategies in surmounting adherence barriers.

So far, this technology has resulted in fewer transplant rejections and a savings of $680,000 in hospital expenditure.

 “Children’s provided one of the most touching and impressive case studies related to pediatric kidney transplant patients.  They use their EHR to not only ensure the accuracy of care, but also, to outreach to the children and the family to ensure their patients follow the protocols,” said HIMSS Analytics Regional Director of Health Advisory Services Philip Bradley.

Finally, Grady Health Systems has joined the ranks of other technologically advanced hospitals by also earning Stage 7 on EMRAM as the only adult acute care facility to earn such a rating for the caliber of its health information technology.

 “We demonstrated that our advanced use of technology and data is making a real difference in how we care for patients and in patient outcomes.  The effective combination of our people and technology has driven clinical quality and financial improvements throughout the organization,” said Ben McKeeby, Senior Vice President and CIO of Grady Health System. 

The hospital is using its integrated EHR technology to improve quality of care through actionable analytics and guided pathways, particularly in its infectious disease program. Grady utilizes alerts for clinicians built into the EHR technology to recommend ordering pathways to screen patients for HIV and assign a treatment plan for infected patients.

To date, hundreds of HIV patients have benefitted from treatment through this program.

 “Grady implemented a Meds to Beds program focused on reducing 30-day readmissions and improving patient experience,” said Bradley. “In this program, when a physician places a discharge order, the pharmacist receives an automatic alert to visit the patient.  The pharmacist then ensures the patient (or family member) has the medications needed before discharge, and they understand the instructions.  Of the patients entered into the program, Grady is seeing an increase in revenue and decrease in 30-day readmissions.”

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