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Report: With Advanced EMR Systems, Comes Added Benefits

February 29, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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New research from the research arm of the Chicago-based Healthcare Information Management and Systems Society,  HIMSS Analytics and the Washington D.C.-based The Advisory Board shows that hospitals with advanced electronic medical records (EMR) systems report achieving a broad range of benefits from their implementations, including clinical quality, patient safety and operational efficiencies.

The data collected for the report, EMR Benefits and Benefit Realization Methods of Stage 6 and 7 Hospitals, indicates that highly advanced EMR environments can produce substantial benefits for individual hospitals and the healthcare system as a whole. The survey is the first to report results from hospitals that have achieved Stages 6 or Stage 7 on the EMR Adoption Model (EMRAM).  It collected information from 33 chief information officers (CIOs) at Stage 6 or Stage 7 EMRAM hospitals from throughout the country. 

At least half of respondents targeted improvements in quality measures for venous thromboembolism (VTE) (73 percent), stroke (70 percent), congestive heart failure (CHF) (64 percent), pneumonia (61 percent), acute myocardial infarction (AMI) (55 percent), and surgical (52 percent) patients. With regard to general safety measures, the vast majority of respondents targeted their EMR implementations to reduce Adverse Drug Effects (ADE) (94 percent) and other safety indicators (91 percent).

All respondent hospitals indicated having realized and documented at least one core measure benefit and one safety measure benefit from EMR implementation.  More than three-quarters (79 percent) of the respondent hospitals reported multiple core measure and/or safety benefits.  The most commonly reported benefits were again ADE reduction (73 percent), improvements in other patient safety indicators (58 percent), and improvements in VTE (55 percent) and CHF (48 percent) metrics.

Hospitals that targeted specific quality benefits were reportedly much more successful in realizing those benefits. Over three quarters of hospitals that targeted improvements in pediatric asthma, pregnancy, AMI, CHF and VTE reported achieving those improvements, compared to 0 – 17 percent of those that didn’t target these conditions. With regard to the safety measures, hospitals that targeted specific improvements were also much more likely to report achieving those improvements, with the sole exception being ADE reductions. Over three-quarters (77 percent) of the hospitals that targeted ADE reductions reported they had achieved some reductions, as did both of the two hospitals that did not target ADE reductions.

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