Due to its continued use of IT to improve patient care and reduce costs, Chicago-based NorthShore University HealthSystem has received Stage 7 revalidation on HIMSS’ acute care Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM) and outpatient EMRAM for its hospitals and associated clinics.
HIMSS Analytics, the presenter of the Stage 7 recognition, introduced the revalidation process in 2015 to ensure that its EMR Adoption Model “continues to reflect industry best practices so that Stage 7 organizations reflect the optimal use and sharing of patient data toward improved healthcare quality, safety, and operational efficiencies.”
NorthShore, a four-hospital system based in Chicago’s north suburbs, has leveraged an integrated electronic health record (EHR) to effectively manage patients using real-time, actionable data analytics. The goal of these efforts is to improve the health of its population, reduce costs and maximize the patient and provider experience, according to HIMSS Analytics officials.
More specifically, NorthShore monitors 16 evidence-based quality measures for preventive care and chronic conditions using a custom dashboard within the EHR. This enables providers to quickly evaluate individual patients with care gaps, including missed follow-up appointments for cardiovascular management, diabetes exams as well as preventative services, such as screenings and immunizations. Patients who may be at high risk for readmission are flagged prior to discharge from the hospital and referred to the appropriate provider for follow up in the physician office. The dashboard is monitored by the care team, so that action can be taken to close the care gap. An automated outreach system is triggered that contacts the patient using their preferred method of communication.
At NorthShore, the use of provider dashboards was reviewed as a tool to facilitate the standardization of best practices, reducing costs and improving overall quality of care. NorthShore’s digital health initiatives have expanded functionality and usability to simplify the healthcare experience for patients. This has led to the potential for 80 percent of physician and hospital appointments to be booked online.
“NorthShore University HealthSystem’s use of analytics exceeds expectations by not only using the data to improve clinical care and operational efficiency, but to also learn how to improve the workflow of the physician, saving time and improving documentation,” said Philip W. Bradley, regional director, North America, HIMSS Analytics. “At the same time, they continue to innovate, with implementing closed-loop blood product administration and recently began smart pump integration throughout the inpatient environment.”
Mary Keegan, chief nursing officer at NorthShore, added, “Health IT has contributed to improved patient care in several ways, from enhancing timely access via online appointment scheduling, to getting lab and test results to the patient—oftentimes before they have arrived home from the lab.” She continued, “We live in an on-demand world, and the EHR enables the team to communicate in a standardized and efficient manner. The complexity of the in-patient world is cemented with readily available information shared amongst multiple team members, enabling modification of treatment plans in real time. Most importantly, patient safety is enhanced with clinical guidelines and recommendations to the caregivers.”
NorthShore University HealthSystem will be recognized at the 2017 HIMSS annual conference on Feb. 19-23, 2017, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.