COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri Health Care has reached a milestone in its transition from all-paper to all-electronic patient records.
HIMSS Analytics, a national company that evaluates hospitals’ progress in implementing electronic medical records, announced recently that University of Missouri Health Care has achieved Stage 6 of the EMR Adoption Model.
Of 151 hospitals and health systems in Missouri, only 16 have reached Stage 6. To date, only 197 of the 5,000 hospitals nationwide have reached this advanced stage of electronic medical records implementation.
At University of Missouri Health Care, the steps taken to reach Stage 6 have included:
• using computers to reduce medical errors by eliminating hand-written doctors’ orders and medication prescriptions
• using computerized alert systems to let medical professionals know about potential problems such as a patient allergy to a particular medication
• giving all of a patient’s caregivers (physicians, pharmacist, physical therapist) immediate access to the patient’s most up-to-date medical information
• allowing faster ordering of laboratory tests and quicker access to those tests by caregivers
“The most important aspect of our progress with implementing the electronic medical record is the way we are utilizing information technology to improve patient safety,” said Jim Ross, chief executive officer of University of Missouri Health Care. “Reaching Stage 6 also means University of Missouri Health Care is well-positioned to successfully address many of the changes resulting from health care reform. These include meaningful use criteria in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, pay for performance, and government quality-reporting programs.”
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provides specific stimulus incentive payments for hospitals and physicians that obtain “meaningful use” of electronic medical records within a specified time.
In September 2009, the University of Missouri and Cerner announced plans to create the Tiger Institute for Health Innovation to pursue revenue-generating and cost-saving initiatives. At that time, leaders from the university, the health system and Cerner said priority goals would include activities required to achieve stimulus funding for federal government-mandated information technology such as electronic medical records.
“Information technology will play an increasing role in the practice of medicine in the future, allowing better value through improved quality and efficiency,” said Harold Williamson Jr., MD, vice chancellor of the University of Missouri Health System. “The creativity and expertise of our medical, nursing and health professions faculty has been invaluable in helping us reach this technology milestone.”
“Our partnership with Cerner through the Tiger Institute is a primary reason we’ve been able to rapidly advance our health information technology at University of Missouri Health Care,” Ross said.
HIMSS Analytics developed the EMR Adoption Model in 2005 as a methodology for evaluating the progress and impact of electronic medical record systems for hospitals in the HIMSS Analytics™ Database. Tracking their progress in completing eight stages (0-7), hospitals can review the implementation and utilization of information technology applications with the intent of reaching Stage 7, which represents an advanced electronic patient record environment.
“Reaching Stage 6 means University of Missouri Health Care will have a significant advantage in supporting and recruiting physicians, nurses and other health professionals,” Ross said. For a complete list of hospitals that have achieved the Stage 6 designation, visit http://www.himssanalytics.org/hc_providers/stage6Hospitals.asp.
For more information about University of Missouri Health Care, visit www.muhealth.org.