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Essentia Health Ambulatory Clinics Reach Stage 7

April 11, 2013
by Rajiv Leventhal
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HIMSS Analytics, a division of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), has announced that 54 Essentia Health ambulatory clinics, located in Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin, have reached Stage 7 on the Ambulatory EMR Adoption Model (A-EMRAM).

Developed in 2011, HIMSS’ Ambulatory EMR Adoption Model (A-EMRAM) provides a methodology for evaluating the progress and impact of EMRs for ambulatory facilities within hospitals in the HIMSS Analytics database.  These facilities include physician practices, clinics, outpatient centers and specialty clinics.  They are tracked in their progress in completing eight stages (0-7); Stage 7 represents an advanced electronic patient record environment. HIMSS Analytics recently annoucned that NorthShore University HealthSystem, a four hospital integrated healthcare delivery system based in Chicago, became the first healthcare system in the country—and one of just two healthcare systems nationwide—to achieve the HIMSS Analytics’ Stage 7 designation for its ambulatory clinics and physicians’ offices.

Stage 7 ambulatory facilities:

  • Deliver patient care without the use of paper charts.
  • Use their EMR and patient portal to drive patient engagement, and thus, improved health status through better health maintenance.
  • Use their vast database of clinical information and evidence based practice guidance to improve outcomes using business intelligence solutions.
  • Are able to share patient information through private and public health information exchanges (HIE), which improves communications and speeds up appropriate care delivery.

“Having a common electronic medical record that spans our integrated delivery system is a key strategy for Essentia Health.  As we focus on changing models of care, quality initiatives and new payment models, our EMR has been instrumental in allowing Essentia to adapt quickly to these trends,” Dennis Dassenko, CIO, Essentia Health System, said in a statement.

The validation process confirms ambulatory facilities have reached Stage 7 with a site visit conducted by an executive from HIMSS Analytics and a Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO) with ambulatory deployment experience to ensure an unbiased evaluation of the Stage 7 environments.  Visiting a representative ambulatory clinic or clinics that deployed the same EMR applications and software, the validation team conducts both a comprehensive system overview and an analytics review to ensure improved health status indicators and understanding of the effectiveness of their patient engagement strategy.

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