Healthcare Technology Featured Article

January 16, 2013

More Hospitals Adopting Electronic Health Records, According to HIMSS Analytics

HIMSS Analytics, a not-for-profit subsidiary of Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, has found that more acute care hospitals are using Electronic Health Records (EHR), according to its EMRAM scale.

“This data suggests that the HITECH portion of the 2009 stimulus law is achieving its intended result of encouraging increased implementation and meaningful use of electronic health records among hospitals, said John Hoyt , executive vice president of HIMSS Analytics. “Hospitals are lag indicators of economic conditions. This information indicates that despite the recession, hospitals are continuing to see the value of investing in health IT to improve the quality, safety and effectiveness of patient care.

Hospitals in the U.S. are required to fully implement electronic records by 2015 or face penalties.

U.S. hospitals with EMRAM ratings of Stage 5 or 6 have increased by 80 percent over the past five quarters where data is available. Stage 5 means that a hospital has implemented closed loop medication administration.

Stage 6 certifies that a hospital uses standard templates for physician documentation, full CDSS variance and compliance, and full R-PACS.

The adoption of Stage 7 has increased by 63 percent over Stage 7, meaning that a hospital has fully implemented electronic health records and secure CCD transactions.

Canadian hospitals, on the other hand, have not had incentives to move up the scale, and consequently have been slower to upgrade.

“Facilities moving to the upper stages of EMRAM are laying the groundwork for interoperability to occur,” explained Hoyt. “Stage 6 and Stage 7 hospitals are fully prepared for provider-to-provider or facility-to-facility interoperability, as well as increasing the provider or facility’s ability to provide electronic health data reporting to public health and immunization registries to support population health review and syndromic surveillance.”

More than 340,000 healthcare facilities are participating in the program, according to HIMSS, with more than $9.3 billion paid out for meeting Stage 1.

Edited by Braden Becker

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