Stage 7 awards are on the upswing

Ambulatory clinics starting to show their muscle
By Mike Miliard
11:02 AM

HIMSS Analytics has been doling out more and more recognition to hospitals and ambulatory clinics over the past weeks and months, a trend that suggests fully mature health IT environments are becoming commonplace nationwide.

On Monday, HIMSS recognized of University of Missouri’s ambulatory clinics for reaching Stage 7 on its Ambulatory Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model.

When it comes to outpatient care, that's still a relative rarity: barely 1.16 percent of more than 19,085 U.S. ambulatory clinics in the HIMSS Analytics Database, have attained Stage 7.

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“We’re proud to be one of the very few health systems in the United States to achieve HIMSS Stage 7 recognition for adoption of electronic medical records in both hospital and clinic settings,” said Mitch Wasden, chief executive officer and chief operating officer of MU Health Care," in press statement.

MU Health Care is one of the most comprehensive health care networks in Missouri, with several hospitals and more than 50 clinics in Columbia, Mo., and throughout the state.

It "has a strong governance model" noted John H. Daniels, vice president, strategic relations at HIMSS, in a press statement. "In addition to having physicians and nurses engaged throughout the governance process, the ambulatory clinics system has  patients serving on its  Patient Portal Working Group to help continuously improve the patients' experience on the portal. Additionally, MU Health Care and its ambulatory clinics  have a robust HIE that allows for the exchange of information between local hospitals, physicians, and other HIEs."

This past week, HIMSS Analytics also awarded Stage 7 status to 50 ambulatory clinics of Kansas City, Mo.-based Truman Medical Centers.

"TMC made a concerted investment in being a leader in the realm of electronic medical record system implementation, and our team has achieved remarkable success in not only putting us in the upper echelon of health systems across the nation in this category, but also, bringing about a significant cultural focus on providing the most efficient, state-of-the-art quality healthcare to our patients," said TMC President an CEO John W. Bluford, in a statement.  

The health system "presented a robust clinical and business intelligence capability that combines clinical, financial and other business data into a single data warehouse," said Daniels. "From this warehouse, they are able to produce multiple reports to support decision making at all levels.  They produce multiple dashboards for various departments and at the individual level for physicians to help drive improvements in care quality."

Meanwhile, on Nov. 4, HIMSS announced that St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay, Wis., St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center in Green Bay, Wis., and St. Nicholas Hospital in Sheboygan, Wis., part of  Hospital Sisters Health System all received Stage 7 Awards, having achieved "an advanced patient record environment."

“This award underlines our dedication to our patients, improving the safety of the care we provide and improving the productivity of our staff," said Shane Miller, chief information officer, HSHS division, Eastern Wisconsin, in a press statement. "It also highlights the dedication of our staff at all three hospitals to our mission and values, and to differentiating our hospitals from others in the nation."

"The Hospital Sisters Health System has a very strong EHR implementation that is used as a tool to reinforce cultural transformation," said John P. Hoyt, executive vice president, HIMSS Analytics, in a press statement. "They have created a shining light for their other hospitals to follow. "They have begun to use the derived data to lead care process improvements and to position themselves to join an existing ACO to extend their market strength."

These hospitals and ambulatory clinics will be recognized at the 2014 HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition, which kicks off Feb. 23, 2014, in Orlando, Fla.

[See also: HIMSS Analytics gets mainstream play]

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