Broadlawns Earns HIMSS EMR Certification
DES MOINES, Iowa (Mar 25, 2010) -- Broadlawns Medical Center ranks among an elite group of hospitals across the country that are HIMSS Stage 6 certified for successful adoption of electronic medical records (EMR) capabilities in the transition to paperless patient records and participation in an electronic health record (EHR) system.
HIMSS Analytics, the Chicago-based independent source on EMR Adoption trends, devised its EMR Adoption Model (EMRAM) to track progress at hospitals and health systems. The EMRAM scores hospitals in the HIMSS Analytics database on their progress through seven stages to create a paperless patient record environment. As of the end of 2009, only 1.6% of the more than 5000 hospitals in HIMSS database had reached Stage 6 certification, and only 0.7% have achieved Stage 7.
Broadlawns is well ahead of the projected federal government's timeline for adoption of the EMR standards. HIMSS Analytics believes that Stage 6 and higher for the EMRAM will need to be implemented by hospitals and clinics to address the 2015 compliance measures to earn stimulus incentives through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 and avoid Medicaid/Medicare penalties. In addition to the HIMSS requirements, Broadlawns is working toward other certifications for ARRA stimulus funds, as the final certification programs are yet to be determined.
"The objectives of EMR are clearly patient-focused," said Jody Jenner, president and CEO of Broadlawns Medical Center. "As we improve care coordination through the exchange of information among our professional healthcare teams, we are at the same time improving quality, safety and efficiency, and reducing health disparities. Furthermore, this evaluation confirms our commitment to the medical home model of primary care whereby patients and families are more engaged in managing their health."
To achieve Stage 6 certification, physician documentation/charting must be implemented for at least one patient care service area. Broadlawns has achieved this documentation level in all inpatient care areas. Level three clinical decision support must be in place to guide all clinician activities related to protocols and outcomes in the form of variance and compliance alerts. A full complement of PAC (picture archiving communication) systems must provide medical images to physicians via an intranet and displace all film-based images.
The results of EMR implementation show that the transition makes financial sense as well. The hospital estimates it saves $660,000 in annual service fees through the efficiencies gained. Other cost savings include reduced wait times for information and increased sharing of data through these new processes.
In Stage 7 EMR, clinical information can be readily shared via standardized electronic transactions with all entities who are authorized to treat the patient, or a health information exchange.
"As we continue our path to a complete Stage 7 certification, we will move completely away from paper charts to deliver and manage patient care," explained Lynne Schaefer, senior vice president of clinic operations. "At that point, we will be using a mixture of discrete data, document images and medical images within our EMR environment to analyze patterns of clinical data to improve quality of care and patient outcomes."
Broadlawns Medical Center first opened its doors as a hospital to the residents of Polk County on April 13, 1924. Over the years, Broadlawns has adapted to the changing demands of public health care, yet remained true to its mission of offering quality health services to all Polk County residents and training tomorrow’s health care professionals. Today Broadlawns Medical Center is composed of:
- An acute care community hospital serving medical, surgical, mental health and primary care needs
- A 60-member physician practice overseeing numerous specialty clinics and outpatient services
- A Family Medicine Residency Program that graduates physician leaders who today serve in 22 of Iowa’s 99 counties
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