St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN), based in Bethlehem, Pa., has been awarded by HIMSS Analytics with its Stage 7 designation, the highest recognition for electronic medical record (EMR) adoption.
St. Luke’s is the first network in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley to earn the designation at all of its hospitals, including the St. Luke’s Warren Campus, which is the first hospital in New Jersey to achieve Stage 7. St. Luke’s network’s service area includes Lehigh, Northampton, Carbon, Schuylkill, Bucks, Montgomery, Berks and Monroe counties in Pennsylvania and in Warren County in New Jersey.
Following a comprehensive review process, HIMSS Analytics grades hospitals on their application of electronic medical records. The Stage 7 designation recognizes St. Luke’s extensive and creative use of electronic medical records to establish better service and higher quality care at lower costs. Less than 5 percent of U.S. hospitals have reached Stage 7, which is the highest stage on HIMSS Analytics’ scale.
“HIMSS Analytics Stage 7 is the highest honor in health care information technology,” St. Luke’s vice president and chief information officer Chad Brisendine said in a statement. “When patients shop for healthcare, they should look for Stage 7 providers. Stage 7 means patients will get the best results that the latest and greatest in electronic medical records makes possible.”
Offering an example, a patient who enters a St. Luke’s hospital may notice it is a paperless operation. If the patient has been to a St. Luke’s facility previously, the patient’s EMR offers up-to-date information on prior history, including prescriptions, reducing the risk of contraindications. If the patient is new to St. Luke’s, the patient’s electronic medical record can be imported from other hospitals that use the same system (EPIC). After discharge, St. Luke’s can track the patient’s results along with the results of others with similar heath issues, allowing the network to evaluate its performance and refine its approach over time.
Already, St. Luke’s has seen additional gains in various quality measurements, such as improvements in blood transfusions and catheterizations.
“This certification reflects the deep commitment of St. Luke’s physicians, nurses and clinical staff to using the full extent of the electronic medical record to improve patient care,” said. James Balshi, M.D., St. Luke’s chief medical information officer.
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