Leading-edge IT projects lead to HIMSS Stage 7 revalidations for Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, Cincinnati Children's

In Pittsburgh, clinical decision support initiatives pay dividends; in Cincinnati, technology enables better medication adherence.
By Mike Miliard
11:03 AM

Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center have both recently been revalidated for Stage 7 status on the HIMSS Analytics Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model.

Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh uses an integrated electronic medical record system – implemented way back in 2002 to store each patient's full medical history and care details. Over the years it has significantly reduced potential medical errors and streamlined processes, becoming one of the most technologically advanced children's hospitals in the nation, according to HIMSS.

That commitment to state-of-the-art IT has led to a variety of innovations. Embedded clinical decision support tools in the EMR help enhance care quality and patient safety. The implementation of predictive analytics can forecast clinical deterioration in patients, enabling more timely interventions.

And barcoding technology for positive patient identification helps ensure the so-called "five rights" of medication administration; the hospital even developed a barcode-based human milk tracking application for newborns in its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, using barcode scanning.

"Using analytics has reduced mean length of stay from 36 hours to 31 hours and remit rates have dropped from six percent to two percent," said Philip Bradley, regional director, North America, healthcare advisory services, operations, HIMSS Analytics, in a statement – adding that the hospital's analytics capabilities are helping physicians in performance review of pediatric appendicitis.

"A strategic goal at Children's Hospital is quality improvement through automation and evidence based practice," said Srinivasan Suresh MD, its chief information officer and chief medical information officer, in a statement. "We aim to build and promote the use of advanced analytic dashboards to improve safety and quality in the care of our children, which also results in measurable cost savings."

In Ohio, meanwhile, Cincinnati Children's kidney transplant team impressed HIMSS with innovative technology to improve medication adherence, a significant challenge for children with transplanted kidneys.

The transplant team uses a pre-visit planning reporting tool that integrates data from multiple sources, including the EHR, according to HIMSS, including risk scoring, "smart" pillbox data which is created when a patient opens an electronic pillbox, and patient adherence questionnaires. That helps the team work with each patient to strategize and overcome adherence barriers.

The results, so far, have been promising: 10,720 patient days between transplant rejections, when the previous best was 7,830, fewer rejected transplants and estimated savings of $680,000 in hospital charges.

"Children's provided one of the most touching and impressive case studies related to pediatric kidney transplant patients," said Bradley. "They use their EHR to not only ensure the accuracy of care, but also, to outreach to the children and the family to ensure their patients follow the protocols."

"The HIMSS Analytics Stage 7 validation affirms our continued passion for excellence," said Michael A. Fisher, president and CEO, Cincinnati Children's. "I'm grateful to our entire team who contributes to this effort every day, and excited about what their efforts mean to patient safety, quality care, research, and ultimately, the health of the children and families we serve."

Both UPMC and Cincinnati Children's will be recognized at the 2017 HIMSS Conference & Exhibition on Feb. 19-23, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.

This article is part of our ongoing coverage of HIMSS17. Visit Destination HIMSS17 for previews, reporting live from the show floor and after the conference.

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