NorthCrest Medical Center, a 109-bed not-for-profit community hospital located in Springfield, Tenn., recently became the first hospital in Tennessee and the nation to use an Emergency Department Information System (EDIS) to qualify for Medicaid incentive payments under the federal HITECH Act.
NorthCrest has reached the meaningful use milestone within Medicaid guidelines and expects to meet the more stringent Medicare requirements prior to 2012. The hospital is taking an alternative approach by using its EDIS from Allscripts (Chicago, Ill.) than their full inpatient EHR to meet the government's requirements. The Allscripts ED 7.0 solution is the only EDIS certified for use under HITECH as a "complete EHR."
The hospital plans to use the EDIS's health information exchange capabilities to enable emergency department physicians to exchange patient information electronically with community physician offices. The process will help ensure that NorthCrest's patients receive effective care from better-informed caregivers both in the Emergency Department and in the offices of downstream physicians.
While community physicians will be able to participate in the program regardless of which EHR they use, all 30-plus providers in NorthCrest Physician Services currently use Allscripts Professional EHR to automate everyday clinical tasks and connect them to each other and to the latest patient information. Another seven physicians affiliated with the medical center also use the Allscripts EHR. Davis hopes eventually the majority of the regional physicians who refer patients to NorthCrest to deploy the Allscripts solution under a subsidy program supported by the medical center.