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Texas Health Alliance Earns National Recognition for Paperless Environment|
FORT WORTH, Texas — Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Alliance is one of 103 facilities nationwide to be recognized for operating at the highest level of electronic medical record adoption: a paperless environment that helps improve efficiency, quality of care and patient safety.
Texas Health Alliance, which opened in September, 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.
“The achievement of Stage 7 at Texas Health Alliance is the culmination of years of effort leading up to the opening of the hospital,” said Dr. Ferdinand Velasco, chief health information officer at Texas Health Resources. “The lessons we learned while implementing the systems at our existing facilities allowed us to successfully open a new hospital with a fully implemented electronic health record. The rest of the system now will benefit from what we have installed and learned at our newest hospital.”
Velasco added: “Throughout this journey, we have benefited from the collaboration between clinicians, administrative staff, and information technology professionals."
The computer-based electronic health record 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 electronic health record 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 9 percent of U.S. hospitals have reached Stages 6 or 7.
“Being designated as a Stage 7 facility validates the commitment and dedication of our care teams to utilizing technology for improved patient safety, care coordination and ease of use for our caregivers,” said Winjie Tang Miao, president of Texas Health Alliance. “It is also recognition for the entire Texas Health Resources family as we showcase the outcomes we have been able to achieve across the enterprise as part of our electronic health record journey.”
The hospital will be recognized at the 2013 Annual HIMSS Conference & Exhibition in New Orleans, La., on March 3-7, 2013.
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