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Texas Health Azle Earns National Recognition for Paperless Environment
11/13/2013

AZLE, Texas — Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Azle is one of just 126 health care facilities nationwide (about 2 percent of U.S. hospitals) to be recognized for operating at the highest level of electronic health record (EHR) adoption: a paperless environment that helps improve efficiency, quality of care and patient safety.

Texas Health Azle earned the Stage 7 Award from Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics, the nation’s major health information technology association. Stage 7 is the highest level on the Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model used to track progress at hospitals and health systems.

“This achievement signifies the dedication and commitment of our care teams to using technology to improve patient safety, care coordination and ease of use for caregivers,” said Bob Ellzey, FACHE, president at Texas Health Azle.

The computer-based EHR collects, organizes, shares and manages clinical and administrative information, and is used by physicians on the medical staff, nurses and caregivers throughout the hospital and with other linked facilities.

HIMSS Analytics developed an adoption model in 2005 to evaluate the progress and impact of electronic medical record systems for hospitals in the HIMSS Analytics™ Database. Eight stages (0-7) measure a hospital’s implementation and use of information technology applications. In Stage 7, the hospital is truly paperless and clinical information can be readily shared through electronic transactions with all entities (other hospitals, ambulatory sub-acute environments, employers, payers and patients).

The Stage 7 validation process includes a site visit by an executive from HIMSS Analytics and chief information officers to ensure an unbiased evaluation. All 14 wholly owned Texas Health Resources hospitals are linked through the EHR and have achieved at least Stage 6 on the adoption model. Reaching the sixth of seven stages means the hospitals have implemented barcode medication verification to help prevent medication errors. Only 13 percent of U.S. hospitals have reached Stages 6 or 7.

Of the five hospitals in Texas that have attained Stage 7 designation, three are affiliated with Texas Health Resources. In addition to Texas Health Azle, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Alliance and Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton have achieved the highest level.

Texas Health was recently selected to receive the 2013 Enterprise HIMSS Davies Award of Excellence by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, the nation’s major health information technology association. The prestigious award recognizes a health care system’s use of the EHR to successfully improve health care delivery processes and patient safety with a demonstrated return on investment.

“Our ultimate goal is to provide the best possible care for our patients and their families,” said Barclay Berdan, FACHE, Texas Health’s chief operating officer and senior executive vice president. “The electronic health record enables us to take advantage of technology to improve the quality of our care. The investment of time and money we’ve made to implement the EHR continues to pay off many times over in improving safety, efficiency and outcomes.”

About Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Azle
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Azle has served Azle, Springtown, Lake Worth and greater northwest Tarrant and Parker Counties since 1954. The hospital’s services include cardiology, orthopedics, imaging and rehabilitation. Texas Health Azle is an affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL or visit TexasHealth.org/Azle.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health systems in the United States. The health system includes 25 acute care and short-stay hospitals that are owned, operated, joint-ventured or affiliated with Texas Health Resources. It includes the Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Arlington Memorial and Texas Health Harris Methodist hospitals, Huguley Memorial Medical Center, Texas Health Physicians Group, outpatient facilities, behavioral health and home health, preventive and fitness services, and an organization for medical research and education.

For more information about Texas Health Resources, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit TexasHealth.org.

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