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HIMSS Analytics: HITECH Achieving its Intended Result

January 17, 2013
by Gabriel Perna
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According to the analytics arm of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), HIMSS Analytics, the number of hospitals adopting EHRs has increased steadily over the past year. The number of hospitals that have reached Stage 5 and 6 of HIMSS Analytics’ Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM) has increased by more than 80 percent over the five most recent quarters for which data is available.

In addition, the data from HIMSS analytics found that the number of acute-care hospitals that achieved Stage 7 has increased 63 percent. On the other side, the hospitals at Stages 0, 1, 2, and 3 have seen decreases of at least 10 percent. 

“This data suggests that the HITECH portion of the 2009 stimulus law is achieving its intended result of encouraging increased implementation and meaningful use of electronic health records among hospitals,” John Hoyt, executive vice president of HIMSS Analytics, said in a statement.  “Hospitals are lag indicators of economic conditions. This information indicates that despite the recession, hospitals are continuing to see the value of investing in health IT to improve the quality, safety and effectiveness of patient care.”

HIMSS Analytics says on the contrary, few hospitals in Canada have achieved similar success in the EMRAM scale. It notes Canada does not have an equivalent stimulus program.

“Facilities moving to the upper stages of EMRAM are laying the groundwork for interoperability to occur,” said Hoyt.  “Stage 6 and Stage 7 hospitals are fully prepared for provider-to-provider or facility-to-facility interoperability, as well as increasing the provider or facility’s ability to provide electronic health data reporting to public health and immunization registries to support population health review and syndromic surveillance.”

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