Facility size no factor in EMR sophistication

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New research from the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics Database has found that both general medical/surgical hospitals and academic medical centers that have successfully implemented almost fully automated or paperless electronic medical records as measured by the Chicago-based society’s Electronic Medical Records Adoption Model (EMRAM).

The white paper, "Stage 6 Hospitals, The Journey and The Accomplishments," by Michael Davis, HIMSS Analytics' executive vice president, found that small- to medium-size general medical/surgical facilities and complex academic medical centers have both achieved Stage 6 on the EMRAM scale — a methodology developed in 2005 by HIMSS Analytics to evaluate the progress and impact of electronic medical record (EMR) systems for acute care delivery environments.

Stage 6 hospitals demonstrate higher levels of patient safety in care delivery, and are best prepared to manage many of the market transformations that hospitals will endure over the next five to 10 years, according to Davis.

Stage 6 of the EMRAM model, according to the white paper, represents hospitals that have achieved significant advancement in IT capabilities enabling them to successfully address many of the looming industry transformations (e.g. HIPAA Claims Attachment, pay for performance and government quality reporting programs).

Stage 6 hospitals are also well positioned to provide data to key stakeholders (e.g. payers, the government, physicians, consumers, and employers to support electronic health record environments and regional health information organizations.

Even if the United States were to move to universal healthcare coverage, hospitals at this stage are best positioned to capture and share patient health information to support that model, according to HIMSS.