HIMSS names 15 U.S. hospitals as EMR best-practice models
HIMSS Analytics will recognize 15 hospitals with its first Stage 7 Award at the 2009 HIMSS conference next month in Chicago. The award represents attainment of the highest level on the HIMSS Analytics' EMR Adoption Model (EMRAM).

The 15 hospitals are part of two integrated delivery systems:  Kaiser Permanente, based in Oakland, Calif., with 12 hospitals, and NorthShore University HealthSystem, based in Evanston, Ill. with three hospitals.

HIMSS Analytics developed the EMRAM in 2005 as a methodology for evaluating the progress and impact of EMRs for hospitals in the HIMSS Analytics Database. 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 patient record environment.

Stage 7 hospitals are able to:
  • Deliver patient care without the use of paper charts;
  • Share patient information by sending secure standardized summary record transactions to other care providers;
  • Use their database of clinical information to drive improved care delivery performance, patient safety clinical decision support and outcomes using business intelligence solutions; and
  • Stand as examples of best practices of how to implement sophisticated EMR environments that engage their clinicians.

The validation process confirms that a hospital has reached Stage 7, which includes a site visit conducted by an executive from HIMSS Analytics and two, independent current, or former, chief information officers to ensure an unbiased evaluation of the Stage 7 environments, according to the society. The team visits a representative hospital that has the same EMR applications and clinical utilization of those EMR applications running in all facilities.

"Stage 7 hospitals represent best practice models for U.S. hospitals seeking to implement electronic medical record environments that improve patient safety, clinical outcomes, and patient care delivery efficiency," said Mike Davis, HIMSS Analytics executive vice president. "We look forward to more U.S. hospitals achieving this level of EMR capabilities, which we will continue to evaluate on an ongoing basis."