Missouri hospital sets goal to reach Stage 7 by 2011

By Molly Merrill
09:43 AM

Capital Region Medical Center, a 134-bed hospital in Jefferson City, Mo., is following what officials say are carefully planned roadmaps to make the transition to a paperless environment by 2011.

The hospital, at Stage 6 on the HIMSS Analytics EMR adoption model, will need to be at 100 percent adoption for computerized physician order entry and electronic documentation before it can be classified by HIMSS Analytsics officials as a Stage 7 hospital.

"Achieving Stage 6 and now Stage 7 is something we have specifically planned for and have developed roadmaps to achieve," said Jason Cecil, the hospital's CIO. "The adoption model recognizes that it is not enough to simply have an EMR. What is much more important is how you use it, and how you can leverage it for maximum benefit to you and your patients."

Cecil said the benefits to his patients – "especially increased patient safety and quality, and to the increased efficiency of the hospital's own processes" – are driving factors for achieving Stage 7.

Demonstrating "meaningful use" is in the thoughts of every hospital CIO, and Cecil says he is no exception.

"While meaningful use and the adoption model mirror each other in many ways, there are distinct differences that will force us to devote resources more on meaningful use at times," he said.

Capital Region's board "recognizes that the future is in EMR technology and now is the time to invest in IT infrastructure to support it," said Cecil.

The hospital is undertaking a list of IT projects "as long as my arm" he said. They include:

  • Solidifying the hospital's core IT infrastructure through a business continuity and disaster recovery plan.
  • Replacing an end-of-life PACS system and planning for a true enterprise PACS.
  • Planning for a health information exchange.
  • Installing a new clinic EMR in all 22 of the hospital's clinics.