Texas Health Resources Commits to Register for 'Meaningful Use' Recognition of Electronic Health Record
01/13/2011

ARLINGTON, Texas — Texas Health Resources today will mark an important milestone in its journey to improve quality of care for North Texans through its electronic health record (EHR). Texas Health is hosting an event at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital to commit to registration with the federal and state governments for recognition that its EHR has achieved requirements for “meaningful use” of the technology. Representatives of Medicare and Medicaid, as well as other North Texas health organizations, and community dignitaries are expected to attend.

The registration will make Texas Health eligible for incentive payments under the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The EHR is a computer-based family of systems for collecting, organizing, sharing and managing clinical and administrative patient information. Texas Health has implemented the EHR in 11 of its 12 wholly owned hospitals, with all wholly owned hospitals using the system by the end of 2011. Texas Health has invested more than $200 million in its EHR, which contains more than 4.7 million patient records.

“We began implementation of the EHR in our hospitals in 2006, several years before the incentives program was started. Our goal was to use information technology to help improve quality and patient safety,” said Stephen C. Hanson, Texas Health’s senior executive vice president for system growth and integration.

“At Texas Health and nationwide, the EHR has been proven one of the most powerful tools for reducing medical errors, improving the quality of patient care and reducing cost. We welcome federal recognition of this vital initiative that benefits patients in every encounter with the health system, and will reinvest payments we receive into our EHR system,” said Hanson.

Texas Health is well positioned to demonstrate “meaningful use” of the EHR under the federal government requirements, said Edward Marx, Texas Health’s chief information officer.

“We believe we have fulfilled all five components for certification for meaningful use, which range from improving quality, safety, and efficiency of care to engaging patients and their families and coordinating care across multiple providers,” said Marx. “Through dedication and teamwork between patients, our staff and physicians, we’ve become a national leader in EHR development and implementation.”

Marx noted that one area where Texas Health is setting the pace for hospitals nationwide is physician adoption of computerized physician order entry (CPOE), an important component of the EHR that has been proven to help reduce medication errors. Texas Health’s adoption rate of approximately 90 percent places the system among the national leaders.

Texas Health is also a pioneer among North Texas hospitals with its patient medical information sharing arrangement with Children’s Medical Center of Dallas, announced in 2010. Physicians at the two systems are able to electronically exchange information on a mutually treated patient.

“It will be heartening to see patients experience continued enhancements in the quality of their health care as hospitals nationwide begin to use EHR systems in a more meaningful way,” said Hanson.

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 24 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, a large physician group, outpatient facilities, 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.