Methodist Hospital leads the way in digital medical records

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Methodist Hospitals is at the front of the pack for converting to electronic medical record keeping.

In fact, Methodist is the only institution in Lake and Porter counties, and among two of 15 in the entire state of Indiana, to be recognized as Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS)Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Adoption Model Stage 6.

HIMSS Analytics developed the EMR Adoption Model in 2005 to evaluate hospitals’ progress in converting to electronic medical record systems. Progress is tracked in eight stages (levels 0 thru 7). The goal for every hospital is to reach Stage 7, which represents an advanced electronic patient record environment.

Only 10.2 percent of U.S. hospitals tracked by HIMSS Analytics have reached Stage 6. To achieve Stage 6, Methodist Hospitals:

Made significant executive commitments and investments to reach this stage.

Has a significant advantage over competitors for patient safety, clinician support, clinician recruitment, and competitive marketing for both consumers and nurse recruitment.

Has almost fully automated/paperless medical records when they have implemented their IT applications across most of the inpatient care settings.

Is evaluating their data for care delivery process improvements or have already documented significant improvements in this area.

Made investments that are within reach of most hospitals and recognize the strategic value of improving patient care with the EMR.

Has created strategic alignments with their medical staff to effectively utilize information technology to improve the patient safety environment

Is 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.

Achieving Stage 6 recognition goes far beyond installing an EMR. In 2010, Methodist Hospitals was the first in the region to implement Epic Systems EMR, the highest rated integrated healthcare software in the country. Stage 6 criteria focus on how we are using our EMR to enhance patient care and safety.

“The Methodist board of directors and administration set the vision and mission to invest in the latest and best technology as a commitment to the community we serve,” said Dr. Michael Davenport, president & interim CEO at Methodist Hospitals. “That vision includes leading the way to digital medical records in Northwest Indiana.”

“The implementation of EMR has transformed how we practice modern day medicine in a technologically advancing society,” said the hospital’s Computer Physician Order Entry Committee chairman, Rupesh Shah, DO.“It has given us the ability to readily access medical information from hospitals, medical offices, remote electronic devices and even at the patient’s bedside. In addition, we have been able to create electronic documentation via voice recognition software, submit electronic orders instantaneously, and track quality and safety measures to optimize patient care”

Within the last two years, Methodist has expanded Epic beyond the hospital walls and into the physician offices by installing Epic Ambulatory, creating a seamless integration between office and hospitals visits.

“Our staff has made a real commitment in utilizing the EMR to enhance and optimize workflow with a focus on care and safety,” said Tim Diamond, Methodist Hospitals’ chief information officer. “Our doctors, nurses and clinical staff, along with our information technology specialists, spent countless hours designing, building and implementing a state-of-the-art, patient-focused system that helped Methodist be the first Northwest Indiana hospital to achieve Stage 6 status.”

Next on the horizon for Methodist is EpicCare Link, a community outreach application to streamline the workflow with other agencies, hospitals and nursing homes.

Provided by Methodist Hospitals