HIMSS Analytics modifies Stage 7 revalidation process

In most cases the process will include a 'pared down' site visit
By Richard Pizzi
02:43 PM
patient looking at EHR on tablet

Healthcare organizations that reached Stage 7 on the Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM) prior to 2014 will receive instructions about the Stage 7 revalidation process by year-end, HIMSS Analytics announced today at the 2015 HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition.

There will be some changes to the process, said John P. Hoyt, executive vice president, HIMSS Analytics. Going forward, the Stage 7 validation lifespan will be three years. All Stage 7 organizations wishing to revalidate will be required to complete the process in the year between the second year anniversary of the original validation and its expiration.

“As the health IT industry rapidly evolves, EMRAM standards must continue to reflect industry best practices,” Hoyt said. “The revalidation process will ensure that Stage 7 organizations reflect the optimal use and sharing of patient data toward improved healthcare quality and safety.”

The EMRAM is an eight-step process created by HIMSS Analytics that allows healthcare organizations to analyze their level of electronic medical record (EMR) adoption and track their progress against other organizations. In addition to EMRs, the eight stages (0-7) measure a hospital’s implementation and utilization of multiple information technology applications. Stage 7 is EMRAM’s highest level of accomplishment.

According to Hoyt, in most cases the revalidation process will include a pared down site visit to verify that new requirements put in place post-validation are being met.

“For the majority of organizations, a one-person site visit should suffice,” he said. “The exception may be if the organization has implemented a new core clinical vendor or changed ownership since its last validation. In those instances a full three-person site visit will be required.”

HIMSS Analytics plans to implement the EMRAM revalidation process globally, Hoyt added.

More than 2,600 hospitals and clinics have achieved Stage 7 since 2009. In the United States, 3.6 percent of hospitals and 6.2 percent of ambulatory facilities had achieved Stage 7 as of the fourth quarter of 2014.

Stage 7 organizations are virtually paperless. To qualify for Stage 7, organizations must be able to share clinical information electronically with hospitals, ambulatory facilities, medical offices and other entities within health information exchange networks, as well as with patients and consumers. Stage 7 organizations also use advanced data analytics techniques to help improve quality, safety and efficiency.

HIMSS Analytics, which is a part of HIMSS, developed the EMR Adoption Model in 2005 as a methodology for evaluating the progress and impact of EMR systems for hospitals in the HIMSS Analytics Database. The Ambulatory EMR Adoption Model was introduced in 2012 to address the specific needs of ambulatory facilities. It follows a similar eight-stage model.