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  • HIMSS Stage 7 Accreditation

    April 15, 2019 – Metro Health – University of Michigan Health has become the first health system in the Grand Rapids area to attain HIMSS Level 7 status, the most prestigious distinction in the use of electronic medical record technology to improve patient care.

    The designation puts Metro Health in elite company. But the greatest accomplishments are the measurable improvements to the safety and quality of care for our patients – faster stroke treatment, more accurate medication distribution and additional life-saving advancements.

    These advances are supported by our team’s sophisticated use of information technology, which has been a hallmark of Metro Health even before it became the region’s first health system to adopt Epic electronic medical records in October 2006.

    Examples from Metro Health’s case studies submitted to HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) include:

    • Speeding stroke treatment from 53 minutes to 29, enabled in part through Vocera technology.
    • Reducing readmission for heart attacks to rates below national averages through communication about EKG and blood chemical indicators of heart attacks.
    • Increasing opportunities to treat undiagnosed depression through automatic alerts to physicians based on patient questionnaires.
    • Improving diabetes management by tracking progress toward outcome targets.

    Metro Health already was in rare company, part of the roughly one-third of health care systems that had achieved Level 6 status. The leap from Level 6 to Level 7 is significant – only 6.4 percent of health systems nationwide have reached Level 7, according to a summary report in 2018.

    “Achieving this level is like finishing the last mile of a marathon, or the final 100 feet of a mountain ascent – it requires tremendous effort and very few accomplish it,” Dr. Peter Hahn, CEO, said, congratulating the entire Metro Health staff for its accomplishment.

    “I could not be prouder of our IT team, clinical staff and operational professionals,” he said. “This accomplishment was a true collaborative effort, spanning every aspect of our health care system.”

    The designation covers electronic medical record adoption in ambulatory as well as hospital applications. Metro Health is one of only two hospitals in the state of Michigan to have obtained both ambulatory and hospital applications.

  • Here is how HIMSS defines the qualifications for Level 7:

    • The hospital no longer uses paper charts to deliver and manage patient care and has a mixture of discrete data, document images, and medical images within its EMR environment.
    • Data warehousing is being used to analyze patterns of clinical data to improve quality of care, patient safety, and care delivery efficiency.
    • Clinical information can be readily shared via standardized electronic transactions with all entities that are authorized to treat the patient, or a health information exchange.
    • The hospital demonstrates summary data continuity for all hospital services (e.g., inpatient, outpatient, ED, and with any owned or managed outpatient clinics).
    • Physician documentation and computerize physician order entry has reached 90% (excluding the ED), and the closed-loop processes have reached 95% (excluding the ED).

    While Level 7 represents the pinnacle of information technology achievement, it does not mark the end of Metro Health’s journey in IT innovation, said Josh Wilda, Chief Information Officer and Interim Chief Operating Officer.

    “If anything, it’s just the beginning,” Wilda said. “Metro Health has long recognized and leveraged the power of information technology to deliver better health care. And we’re going to continue to lead the way.”

    This is the same commitment to innovation, Wilda said, that for seven straight years has earned Metro Health a place on the list of Health Care’s Most Wired Hospitals in the country. The listing by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) recognizes excellence in IT.

    “At Metro Health, information technology is not just computer systems and data and networks,” Wilda said. “It’s a tool we use in a very human way to improve the health and wellbeing of the community and patients we serve.”

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