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Fort HealthCare Reaches Stage 7 in EHR Adoption

September 17, 2012
by Jennifer Prestigiacomo
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HIMSS Analytics (Chicago) recognizes Fort HealthCare in Fort Atkinson, Wis. with its Stage 7 Award. The Stage 7 award represents attainment of the highest level on the Electronic Medical Records Adoption Model (EMRAM), which is used to track EMR progress at hospitals and health systems.

“The HIMSS Analytics Stage 7 award is further evidence affirming the dedication of our medical staff and employees as they’ve worked tirelessly to improve the patient experience using technology available in our electronic medical records system,” said Jim Dahl, chief information officer at Fort HealthCare, in a statement.  “I am proud that we have attained an elite level of automation here in Wisconsin that up to now has only been achieved at a much larger university medical institution. This level of accomplishment will be invaluable as we serve our local community with outstanding care.”

HIMSS Analytics developed the EMR Adoption Model in 2005 as a methodology for evaluating the progress and impact of electronic medical record systems for hospitals in the HIMSS Analytics Database. There are eight stages (0-7) that measure a hospital’s implementation and utilization of information technology applications. The final stage, Stage 7, represents an advanced patient record environment. The validation process to confirm a hospital has reached Stage 7 includes a site visit by an executive from HIMSS Analytics and former or current chief information officers to ensure an unbiased evaluation of the Stage 7 environments.

In 2010, Fort HealthCare began planning for an organization-wide implementation of a comprehensive electronic health record (EHR) system. The main goal was to create a medical record system that would provide critical medical data whenever and wherever it’s needed.  This access to relevant, integrated clinical information allows medical professionals, such as physicians, nurses, pharmacists, therapists and lab technicians to communicate instantly with the rest of the patient’s care team and enables them to make the best care decisions possible.

More than 50 individual EMR components—a component being a radiology information system, a pharmacy system, a laboratory system, a nurse documentation system—were installed in a “big bang” implementation to provide physicians and other care givers access to the highest level of medical record technology. Enhancements related to chronic disease management, revenue cycle and employee benefits management were also implemented.

The new EHR software system, known internally to Fort HealthCare staff as the Compass project, became available throughout all Fort Memorial Hospital and Fort Medical Group clinic locations on August 1, 2011

Fort HealthCare will be recognized at the 2013 Annual HIMSS Conference & Exhibition in New Orleans, La. on March 3-7, 2013. As of Quarter 2, 2012, Fort HealthCare is among the 95 U.S. facilities, or 1.7 percent, of the more than 5,000 U.S. hospitals in the HIMSS Analytics Database, to be awarded the HIMSS Analytics Stage 7 Award.

“Fort HealthCare has an excellent analytics program that drives performance improvement in core measures and other clinical strategic initiatives,’ said John P. Hoyt, FACHE, FHIMSS, Executive Vice President, HIMSS Analytics. “It is a totally paperless environment, and well positioned for bundled payment reform with a comprehensive e-record for inpatient as well as ambulatory.”



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