HIMSS Analytics honors Unity with Stage 6 Recognition

HIMSS Analytics recently announced Unity Health has achieved Stage 6 on the EMR Adoption ModelSM (EMRAM). This recognition includes the main Unity Health — White County Medical Center campus in Searcy and the Unity Health — Harris Medical Center campus in Newport.

Health Information Management Systems Society Analytics developed the EMR Adoption Model in 2005 as a methodology for evaluating the progress and impact of electronic medical record systems for hospitals in the HIMSS Analytics® LOGIC™. Tracking their progress in completing eight stages (0-7), hospitals can review the implementation and utilization of information technology applications with the intent of reaching Stage 7, which represents an advanced electronic patient record environment.  

Stage 6 hospitals such as Unity Health:

  • Have made significant executive commitments and investments to reach this stage.
  • Appear to have a significant advantage over competitors for patient safety, clinician support, clinician recruitment and competitive marketing for both consumers and nurse recruitment.
  • Have almost fully automated/paperless medical records when they have implemented their IT applications across most of the inpatient care settings.
  • Are starting to either evaluate their data for care delivery process improvements or have already documented significant improvements in this area.
  • Have made investments that are within reach of most hospitals and recognize the strategic value of improving patient care with the EMR.
  • Have begun to create strategic alignments with their medical staff to effectively utilize information technology to improve the patient safety environment
  • Are well positioned to provide data to key stakeholders, such as payers, the government, physicians, consumers and employers, to support electronic health record environments and health information exchanges.

Stage 6 hospitals also have achieved a significant advancement in their IT capabilities that positions them to successfully address many of the current industry transformations, such as meaningful use criteria in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, claims attachments for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, pay for performance and government quality reporting programs.

Through years of growth and development, Unity Health was previously recognized as a Stage 4 hospital. Through an entire recent update and utilizing distinct systems within the organization; Unity Health underwent a validation process to achieve Stage 6.

Within the last year, a goal for the Unity Health IT Department has been to integrate the main hospital information system with a Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS).

This integration allows caregivers to access patient information that creates a profile to view images and information during treatment. The following areas of the EMR have contributed to the process of achieving Stage 6 recognition:

  • Medication reconciliation determines patients medications used outside of the hospital and helps to avoid drug interactions prescribed within the hospital setting and when returning home.
  • Medication administration uses a barcoding system to ensure the right prescriptions are distributed to patients properly.
  • Documentation from providers and nursing staff is a critical piece of the process for the system to function successfully by recording patient information.
  • Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) allows providers to order testing, therapy or medication for a patient and by doing so electronically, the system deciphers the history of patient orders and their progress.

 “To reach Stage 6 at Unity Health has been a major accomplishment,” said Unity Health Assistant Vice President and Chief Information Officer Phil Miller. “We are excited to be recognized for this honor. It is nice to be measured against a set of criteria and know you have met it and are on the right path. We are able to strive for the fullest integration of systems.

This has been a long-term project for us, we have steadily concentrated on these efforts since 2008 and it is fulfilling to reach this stage. We have sought to incorporate as much electronic record keeping as possible.

“Through achieving this status, we have also received the criteria to reach Stage 7. Our goal now is to adopt systems that are more efficient for caregivers; we want to use technology to improve the lives of our patients through efficiency and effectiveness.”

Visit himssanalytics.org for more information.