Categorized | Health

Hilo Medical Center lauded for Electronic Medical Records


HIMSS Analytics, an organization dedicated to providing the highest quality data and analytical expertise to support improved decision-making for healthcare providers, IT companies, and consulting firms, recognized Hilo Medical Center for completing all stages of the Electronic Medical Record Adoption ModelSM (EMRAM), by awarding it Stage 7 designation.

In doing so, HIMSS acknowledged the hospital’s work to achieve “the pinnacle of an environment where paper charts are no longer used to deliver patient care.”

As the first public hospital in Hawaii Health Systems Corporation to implement an EMR in May 2010, this milestone puts Hilo Medical Center among the elite few in the United States to have accomplished the highest level and final stage of EMR adoption.

“This achievement validates the fact that Hilo Medical Center has delivered the mechanism for healthcare providers to have real time information about the patients they serve, thereby improving the quality of care,” said Howard Ainsley, East Hawaii Region CEO of the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation.

“The ability to allow multiple providers to review a patient’s electronic record simultaneously — true sharing and information exchange — and contribute to the plan of care versus passing a paper chart around and hoping that everything is in it, is monumental,” he said. “The strides in making data available for decision support through the use of our EMR makes it a worthy project; the fact that we’ve done it on a modest budget is impressive. It speaks to our capacity to improve process performance and patient safety through collaboration and technology.”

Members of Hilo Medical Center’s HealthConnect team have dedicated years to reaching this Stage 7 milestone.

“Their work has put Hilo Medical Center on the map in the EMR world and I congratulate each and every one of them for this achievement,” Ainsley said.

“Hilo Medical Center has come a long way in a very short time. They have effectively leveraged their internal resources to achieve advanced EMR capabilities with a small budget and without the advantage of external staffing. They are a great case study in how hospitals can achieve big results with minimal resources,” said John Daniels, CNM, FHIMSS, FACHE, CPHIMS, CHPS, Vice President, Strategic Relations, HIMSS.

On May 1, 2010, HMC transitioned to an EMR system aimed at improving patient care and safety and the hospital’s financial performance. The EMR system, named HealthConnect, was developed by MEDITECH, to enable the hospital to connect electronically with internal and external physicians and other service providers to ensure the best possible care for hospital patients.

The system also streamlines operational activities to improve efficiencies, which translates into better collections and more timely reimbursements from insurance and government providers.

Throughout the transition, more than 800 employees completed training and all physicians with hospital privileges attended the HealthConnect training classes.

Physicians now have around the clock access to the patient record including digitally stored radiological images like X-rays, CT scans and MRIs, dictated reports, laboratory test results, medical orders, nursing notes, medication, Emergency Department visit information and long-term charts.

HMC achieved a series of milestones to qualify for Federal stimulus funds offered through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

To date, HMC has received more than $1.5 million in ARRA funds for meeting Stage 2 Meaningful Use criteria. Hospitals that fail to implement an EMR risk reduced Medicare and Medicaid payments as well as government penalties for noncompliance.

In April 2013, HMC was one of two hospitals in Hawaii to achieve Stage 6 of the HIMSS EMRAM.

In November 2013, HMC implemented Access to integrate e-forms on demand with MEDITECH, allowing the hospital to go fully paperless in its medical charting, thus meeting the criteria for completing Stage 7.

As a whole, the East Hawaii Region of the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation has attained HIMSS Stage 6 and ARRA Meaningful Use Stage 1 designations, earning approximately $2.5 million for the entire Region for its achievements.

The hospital will be recognized in February at the 2014 Annual HIMSS Conference & Exhibition in Orlando, Fla.

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