Hilo Medical Center: Stage 7 showed us the EHR's full potential

Hilo Medical Center has achieved HIMSS Stage 7 recognition and Kris Wilson, CIO at Hilo Medical Center, discusses how help from everyone within an organization is needed to hit the milestone.
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HIMSS Stage 7

Kris Wilson, CIO at Hilo Medical Center will be speaking about achieving HIMSS Stage 7 at HIMSS18 on March 8.

Obtaining HIMSS Stage 7 recognition is a definite milestone for any organization, yet many hospitals perceive the process of obtaining HIMSS Stage 7 as overwhelming.

But hospitals should understand how the HIMSS Stage 7 process can help a healthcare organization realize the importance of using an electronic health record system to reach its full potential through HIMSS application and recertification. Hospitals should understand how HIMSS Stage 7 can help an organization realize the importance of using an EHR to reach its full potential.

Hilo Medical Center has achieved HIMSS Stage 7 recognition and has learned some important lessons along the way that reinforce these points.

One such lesson learned is that achieving HIMSS Stage 7 is a hospital-wide effort, said Kris Wilson, CIO at Hilo Medical Center.

“Often we refer to EHRs as an IT-based project or initiative,” Wilson said. “In reality, IT provides the means to implement the technology, but the use of the EHR and achieving a paperless environment requires all disciplines to use and adopt an electronic workflow. It is imperative to your success to engage as many people as possible within your organization when reviewing what Stage 7 means to your hospital.”

Another lesson learned along the road to Stage 7 is that ultimately achieving HIMSS Stage 7 keeps the whole organization current, Wilson explained.

“Adopting the guidelines of the HIMSS Stage 7 measures and infusing these measures into our culture, we found as an organization that we were better prepared to address Meaningful Use standards and federal mandates,” she said.

“Having a basic project plan on how to reach each measure will keep your team on track,” she advised. “Taking each measure and breaking it down into functional parts will make the process achievable.”

She also hopes to convey how to select a good case study on which a healthcare organization can focus.

“This is one of the more daunting tasks of the HIMSS Stage 7 process, but if you take a step back and look at how much you are already doing, you will be surprised on the many topics you can report upon,” she explained.

At a macro level, it is important for hospitals to maintain similar functionalities and workflows. Adopting comparable health information practices facilitates the flow of information between healthcare entities and helps care coordination.

“The future of healthcare is driving all organizations to decrease redundancies and increase efficiencies,” Wilson said. “One way to do this is to strive for a paperless environment. Reaching HIMSS Stage 7 provides a good guideline on how to achieve this.”

Kris Wilson will be speaking in the session, “Achieving HIMSS Stage 7: Realizing the benefits of your EHR,” at 4 p.m. March 8 at the Wynn Hotel, Alsace.

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Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT
Email the writer: bill.siwicki@himssmedia.com

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