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Truman Medical Centers Recognized for HIT Excellence

November 20, 2014
by Rajiv Leventhal
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The Kansas City, Mo.-based Truman Medical Centers (TMC) has won two awards from the health IT community for using information technology to improve care.

Late last month, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) recognized TMC has the 2014 CHIME-AHA Transformational Leadership Award winner. This award honors an organization that has excelled in developing and deploying transformational information technology that improves the delivery of care and streamlines administrative services. The award is given to the organization’s CIO and CEO, who recognize the need for a strong partnership between its technology team and executive leadership, according to CHIME.

TMC consists of two academic acute care facilities with 600 total beds, more than 50 outpatient clinics, a behavioral health program, the Jackson County health department, and a long-term care facility. TMC serves a number of low income, high-risk patients that generate some of the highest costs when compared to the general population. The health system is the provider of 11 percent of all uncompensated care within the state of Missouri, at a cost of $130 million.

TMC is a participant in the Partnership for Patients, established by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), to make hospital care safer, more reliable and less costly. Also, over the past few years, the organization has launched Q6, “Quality to the Sixth Power,” a system wide initiative to drive quality improvement at TMC. Key executives from both hospitals in TMC, including senior vice president and CIO Mitzi Cardenas,  joined forces to launch the Q6 initiative, which led to the formation of multidisciplinary committees to drive quality improvement across clinical workflow, IT and business processes using actionable data from the organization’s electronic health record (EHR).

“It was critical for our organization to establish data-driven processes coupled with action-oriented workflows empowered by the EHR,” recently retired resident and CEO of TMC, John W. Bluford, said in a statement. “While IT alone is not the solution to optimal medical outcomes, it is a key lever in advancing workflow and enabling real-time decision making, contributing to improved clinical outcomes, administrative efficiency and significant cost avoidance.”

Additionally, TMC has been named a 2014 HIMSS Enterprise Davies Award recipient, the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) announced. The Davies Awards program promotes EHR-enabled improvement in patient outcomes through sharing case studies and lessons learned on implementation strategies, workflow design, best practice adherence, and patient engagement.

Using a comprehensive EHR-enabled quality improvement strategy focused on adherence to best practice protocols and heavy technology-enabled patient engagement strategies, Truman Medical Centers have sustained excellent care coordination while maintaining a high level of care delivery that scores well above national benchmarks, HIMSS said in a news release.

 TMC’s use of an EHR-enabled automated interpreter requests and streamlined workflow has enabled TMC to provide a more personalized care experience for each unique patient while providing the correct care in the fastest time possible. Best practice adherence and analytical review of clinical decision support best practice protocols have resulted in a significant reduction in the number of episodes of venous thromboembolism and hospital acquired pressure ulcers. These clinical improvements have resulted in cost avoidance of nearly $8 million since implementation. As much of the care delivered by TMC is uncompensated, cost avoidance through clinical improvement is critical for remaining financially sound, HIMSS said.

Truman Medical Centers will be recognized for the Davies Award at the 2015 Annual HIMSS Conference & Exhibition, April 12-16 in Chicago. It was given the Transformational Leadership Award at the CHIME14 Fall CIO Forum in San Antonio, Texas last month.

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