Advanced EMRs reap advanced benefits

By Mike Miliard
10:44 AM
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HIMSS Analytics and The Advisory Board have published new research showing hospitals that have implemented advanced electronic medical record systems enjoy a broad range of benefits when it comes to clinical quality, patient safety and operational efficiencies.

HIMSS Analytics and The Advisory Board have published new research showing hospitals that have implemented advanced electronic medical record systems enjoy a broad range of benefits when it comes to clinical quality, patient safety and operational efficiencies.

HIMSS Analytics and The Advisory Board have published new research showing hospitals that have implemented advanced electronic medical record systems enjoy a broad range of benefits when it comes to clinical quality, patient safety and operational efficiencies.

The joint report, titled "EMR Benefits and Benefit Realization Methods of Stage 6 and 7 Hospitals," indicates that highly advanced EMR environments can produce substantial benefits for individual hospitals and the healthcare system as a whole. The survey is the first to report results from hospitals that have achieved Stages 6 or Stage 7 on HIMSS Analytics' EMR Adoption Model (EMRAM), offering insight about the benefits that can accrue for hospitals further along the development track.

[See also: Climbing the ladder: Step by step, inpatient EMRs are finding their level.]

The study collected data from 33 chief information officers at Stage 6 or Stage 7 EMRAM hospitals nationwide. Among its findings:

  • Hospitals with advanced EMRs explicitly target specific clinical objectives. At least half of respondents targeted improvements in quality measures for venous thromboembolism (73 percent), stroke (70 percent), congestive heart failure (64 percent), pneumonia (61 percent), acute myocardial infarction (55 percent) and surgical (52 percent) patients. With regard to general safety measures, the vast majority of respondents targeted their EMR implementations to reduce adverse drug effects (94 percent) and other safety indicators (91 percent).
  • Hospitals with advanced EMRs report achieving a broad range of benefits from their EMR implementations. All respondent hospitals indicated having realized and documented at least one core measure benefit and one safety measure benefit from EMR implementation.  More than three-quarters (79 percent) of the respondent hospitals reported multiple core measure and/or safety benefits.  The most commonly reported benefits were again adverse drug effect reduction (73 percent), improvements in other patient safety indicators (58 percent) and improvements in venous thromboembolism (55 percent) and congestive heart failure (48 percent) metrics.
  • Hospitals that target specific areas of benefit are more likely to report achieving those benefits. Hospitals that targeted specific quality benefits were reportedly much more successful in realizing those benefits. Over three quarters of hospitals that targeted improvements in pediatric asthma, pregnancy, acute myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure and venous thromboembolism reported achieving those improvements, compared to 0 to 17 percent of those that didn’t target these conditions.

With regard to the safety measures, hospitals that targeted specific improvements were also much more likely to report achieving those improvements, with the sole exception being adverse drug event reductions. More than three-quarters (77 percent) of the hospitals that targeted ADE reductions reported they had achieved some reductions, as did both of the two hospitals that did not target ADE reductions.

[See also: HIMSS Analytics gets mainstream play.]

In addition to the clinical benefits, hospitals reported achieving a number of other operational and administrative benefits.

"It is extremely encouraging to see the majority of hospitals that are in the latter stages of developing full EMRs, reporting tangible, diverse and numerous benefits and showing that these systems are transforming healthcare,” said Jennifer Horowitz, senior director, research, HIMSS Analytics.

Download the report here.