HIMSS Analytics rolls out new EMRAM criteria and Value Score

The major update to its Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model and the Value Score quality measurement are designed to help provider organizations boost health IT efforts.
By Bill Siwicki
04:22 PM

As part of its ongoing efforts to help healthcare provider organizations enhance their IT strategies and better realize value from their IT investments, HIMSS Analytics is unveiling at HIMSS16 the Next EMRAM Criteria and Value Score.

EMRAM is HIMSS Analytics’ Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model. And Value Score is described by HIMSS Analytics as healthcare’s first international quality measurement for the value of health IT – building on the EMRAM and HIMSS’ Value Suite – to help providers optimize and use IT to improve clinical and financial outcomes and drive efficiencies in care.

The Next EMRAM Criteria is a major update to EMRAM. HIMSS Analytics is shifting some existing technologies and practices down its seven-stage ladder, moving new ones in, better accounting for differences in the delivery of healthcare around the world, and adding significant new material centered on security. HIMSS Analytics is launching the Next EMRAM Criteria at HIMSS16, but added that it still is working through details on some of the revised criteria.

“It’s been an exhaustive process: gathering feedback from the provider, administrative health and vendor communities around the world, but by and large the criteria is fundamentally inked. The intent is to create a true global comparison,” said Blain Newton, executive vice president at HIMSS Analytics. “The previous EMRAM was built 10 years ago, and while it became an effective tool and an industry standard – to the point where bond rating agencies ask for proof of Stage 7 – medicine is practiced differently in different parts of the world, and EMRAM initially was pretty specific to North America.”

Newton said the Next EMRAM Criteria reflects the current state of the market, so things that were cutting edge 10 years ago now are moved down the scale and emerging practices and technologies have been moved in at different stages. For example, picture archiving and communication systems, which were not as commonplace 10 years ago as they are today, have been moved down to an earlier stage, while such things as clinician documentation and business continuity services have been given new emphasis.

“And we’ve added a significant amount of material around privacy and security, which was a missing piece for us,” Newton said. “It’s a big update to the original criteria. But health systems performing well now will still be performing well with the rollout of the Next EMRAM Criteria.”

Also at HIMSS16, HIMSS Analytics is officially launching Value Score, the next generation of several HIMSS-developed standards and resources that have served as health IT adoption models for providers over the last decade. EMRAM, for instance, has helped hospitals and clinical practices track and benchmark EHR adoption and utilization goals, and the HIMSS Health IT Value Suite and Value STEPS have provided a framework and vocabulary for providers to articulate strategies.

As the market continues to evolve, Value Score will give providers a way to look at their entire organization and capture a comprehensive view of how they achieve value beyond the electronic health record, HIMSS Analytics said.

“Value Score is the capstone to all of the offerings,” Newton said. “The other models focus on the adoption and implementation of technology. Value Score is focused on the optimization of that technology to achieve and realize value. It is an objective measure of discrete examples of realizing clinical, financial and patient engagement satisfaction, and realizing value by leveraging IT. We’re not only looking to get to Stage 7, but also to optimize and use IT to truly improve care, reduce costs and increase satisfaction. Value Score is a way to capture and normalize that concept.”

While Value Score measures what is happening today, room has been made for innovation, Newton added, including a score specific to that topic.

“We looked to the folks in the vanguard doing things we haven’t seen before,” he said. “The purpose of Value Score’s innovation score is to push the market forward, so eventually innovation filters down into the core model, which then can evolve and help those not in the vanguard to achieve more and raise the bar for everybody."

HIMSS Analytics is in booth 1054 on the Exhibit Hall floor.

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT 

This story is part of our ongoing coverage of the HIMSS16 conference. Follow our live blog for real-time updates, and visit Destination HIMSS16 for a full rundown of our reporting from the show. For a selection of some of the best social media posts of the show, visit our Trending at #HIMSS16 hub.

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