Five more hospitals are expected to soon qualify for the HIMSS Analytics Stage 7 Award, recognizing their transition to a completely paperless environment, said Dave Garets, the company’s CEO and president.
HIMSS Analytics, a not-for-profit subsidiary of the Chicago-based Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, collects IT data on every non-federal hospital in the country and some hospitals in Canada through an annual study that tracks the implementation and adoption of electronic medical record applications.
Garets said the HIMSS Analytics EMR Model, which rates hospitals on a scale from 0 to 7, is garnering interest in some European and Middle Eastern countries and Australia. With slight modifications, he said, the model has the ability to work on an international level.
"The model has gotten international acceptance because it is a standard way of doing it," he said. "It makes sense to most everybody."
When data indicates a hospital has reached Stage 6, HIMSS Analytics contacts the CIO to make an independent validation. Garets said half of those phone calls lead to a determination that the hospital isn't at Stage 6 yet.
"What's striking about Stage 6 hospitals is the amount of different vendors that are represented. It's a very nice thing because it shows it's not the software, it's what you do with it," said Garets.
When a hospital's data suggests it has reached Stage 7 – the highest level of the model – HIMSS Analytics performs an on-site visit. Garets said nothing is off limits during this visit, and HIMSS Analytics officials have the freedom to look at the hospital's IT systems in action.
Garets said only one hospital has not met the Stage 7 requirements after a site visit.
"As more healthcare organizations move toward EMR implementation, the Stage 7 hospitals offer valuable best practices focused on using EMR applications to improve patient safety, clinical outcomes and patient care delivery efficiency," said Mike Davis, HIMSS Analytics' executive vice president.