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The Transition From Paper to Computers

The Health Information Management System Society (HIMSS) is a global organization focused on better health through information technology. The HIMSS group created the EMR Adoption Model (EMRAM) to help hospitals navigate the transition from completely analogue or paper-based healthcare, to the end goal of a fully paperless environment. The EMRAM does this by identifying and scoring hospitals using an 8 step scale (from 0 to 7) that begins with the organization having no digital processes and ends with a fully integrated digital system.

Deaconess earned Stage 7 HIMSS status in early 2012. We were one of the first health systems to embrace the transition to electronic health records and were used as a case study by HIMSS. Click here to read. As of August, 2014, there are only 175 hospitals in the United States designated at HIMSS Level 7. Indiana is home to four of those hospitals and all four of those belong to Deaconess.

Reaching Stage 7 is a very real and meaningful accomplishment. The employees at Deaconess Hospital, Deaconess Gateway Hospital, Deaconess Cross Pointe, and The Heart Hospital spent years figuring out the best way to support the true sharing and use of patient data that ultimately improves process performance, quality of care, and patient safety. Now that Deaconess has reached and maintained the highest level of adoption in the HIMSS system, we look toward the horizon and where health care is headed next. At their national conference in 2014, HIMSS unveiled The Continuity of Care Maturity Model. This model will serve as a roadmap to help hospitals move from an integrated digital system to a truly integrated health care delivery system. Pilot programs will begin sometime in 2015.

EMR Adoption Model
Explanation of the United States EMR Adoption Model

Continuity of Care Maturity Model
Going beyond EMRAM, the future of HIMSS.

HIMSS for the Physician’s Office

Within our physician offices, Deaconess is improving access to and delivery of health care by following a similar path similar to the HIMSS model mentioned above. Because hospitals and physician offices operate differently, HIMSS created a transition model for hospitals and a separate one for physician offices/ambulatory locations.

On July 11, 2014, Deaconess received word that 51 of our ambulatory sites/physician offices had been certified at HIMSS Stage 6. To put that number into perspective, there are 1,568 ambulatory offices in the United States certified at Stage 6. There are 70 locations in Indiana and 51 of those belong to Deaconess.

Reaching Stage 6 is a result of focus, good direction, and a steadfast commitment from leadership. Stage 6 institutions have established clear goals for improving safety, minimizing errors, and prioritizing IT implementations. When you couple this achievement with the success of the hospital’s clinical integration, it’s easy to see why patients prefer a health system with the capability to keep everyone on the same page.

US Ambulatory EMR Adoption Model Explanation of the US Ambulatory EMR Adoption Model stages.