Two health systems score Davies awards

Mount Sinai and Hawai'i Pacific Health credit EHRs with improved patient care, better financial performance and innovation
By Bernie Monegain
04:13 PM
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Two Stage 6 hospitals, one in Manhattan and the other in Honolulu  -  Mount Sinai Medical Center and Hawai'i Pacific Health  -  are due to pick up their 2012 Enterprise HIMSS Davies Awards of Excellence at the 2013 Annual HIMSS Conference & Exhibition in New Orleans, March 3-7.

The Davies Award recognizes excellence in health information technology, specifically excellence in use of the electronic health records (EHRs) to successfully improve quality of care and patient safety.

The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City encompasses both the Mount Sinai Hospital and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Founded in 1852, the hospital is a 1,171-bed tertiary and quaternary care teaching facility and one of the nation's oldest and largest teaching hospitals. Nearly 60,000 people were treated at Mount Sinai as inpatients in 2011, and approximately one million outpatient visits took place. 

Located on the Upper East Side of New York, the Mount Sinai team noted in its Davies application that the hospital is at "an intersection of the wealthiest and poorest zip codes in the country," and has the responsibility of meeting the medical needs of both affluent and indigent patients.

"The long term benefits of our new EMR system, which I consider the backbone of our care today, are far reaching," Kenneth Davis, CEO of Mount Sinai, said in a news release. "It enables new reimbursement models, improvements in safety and quality, and accelerated research and innovation." 

The case studies that Mount Sinai submitted as part of its Davies Award application detailed the formation of a leadership and governance structure as well as the use of a Program Management Office to ensure that stringent program management methodologies were utilized throughout the implementation of its Epic EHR. 

In the leadership and governance case study, the Mount Sinai team, led by Kristen Myers, vice president, information technology, wrote: "Commitment to a strong leadership and governance model led to an on-time, on-budget EHR implementation. Key traits of the governance structure included a mandate for physicians to use the EHR, 'overwhelming' communication from the C-suite, and organizational fortitude to convince the vendor to make changes to their long-standing methodology to better align with MSMC needs."

Mount Sinai also developed a change management program, which placed clinical champions at the forefront of the transformation. This allowed clinical champions, front line nurses, trainers and other resources to assume ownership of the EHR implementation and therefore drive the clinical transformation, the Mount Sinai team noted in its application.

The team further noted that the EHR continues to serve as a strong enabler for clinical innovation as demonstrated by the Preventable Admissions Care Team and the "Stop Sepsis" initiative, both of which are dramatically improving quality outcomes for patients. Quality, safety and efficiency metrics have improved since system implementation and are apparent in meaningful use core and menu objective reporting. 

As Eric Hartz, MD, chair of the HIMSS Enterprise Davies Award Committee and chief medical information officer at Trinity Healthcare, sees it, "The implementation of healthcare technology has enabled Mount Sinai to derive both clinical and financial value in the challenging environment of a medical teaching, patient care and research facility."

Hawai'i Pacific Health

Hawai'i Pacific Health is a nonprofit healthcare system and Hawaii's largest healthcare provider. Hawai'i Pacific Health operates four hospitals, 49 outpatient clinics and service sites, with more than 1,300 affiliated physicians. In addition, the health system has leading strategic initiatives in women's health, pediatric care, cardiovascular services, cancer care, and bone and joint services.

"Hawai'i Pacific Health ranks among the top five percent of hospitals nationwide in the adoption of electronic health records, with system-wide implementation of an Epic EHR that allows its hospitals and physicians to offer integrated, coordinated care throughout the state," Hartz said in a news release. 

The Hawai'i Pacific Health team noted in its case studies that:

The health system has demonstrated an annual return on investment from an integrated EHR of nine percent over 10 years. Success was achieved through the integration of all revenue cycle functions and by driving financial and clinical performance through transparency, collaboration and accountability.

Health IT is not limited to inpatient and outpatient settings. Through a Web portal patients are able to view laboratory results, educational materials, appointment scheduling and health maintenance reminders. More than 29,000 patients now regularly communicate through this portal, averaging 650 logons per day. 

Hawai'i Pacific Health's EHR has been critical to improvements in overall safety, quality and effectiveness of care, the health system's team wrote in the executive summary it summited with its Davies Award application. Significant, measurable improvements have been achieved in reducing or eliminating ventilator associated pneumonia, catheter associated urinary track infections and central-line associated bloodstream infections."

The team also cites outpatient clinical care improvements in diabetes, hypertension and cancer screening.

"The EMR, and health IT as a whole, has served as the cornerstone of this success," the team wrote in the application submitted by Melinda Ashton, MD, Hawai'i Pacific Health's vice president of patient safety and quality services.

The winners of the HIMSS Enterprise Davies Award must have achieved Stage 6 or Stage 7 on the HIMSS Analytics EMR Adoption Model as well as key meaningful use milestones. The awards program is named after Nicholas E. Davies, MD, a practicing physician and president-elect of the American College of Physicians who died in a plane crash in 1991.