Technology is a tool we use in a very human way to improve the health and wellbeing of the community and patients we serve. This approach was recognized in 2019 when Metro Health earned the most prestigious distinction in the use of electronic medical record technology, HIMSS Level 7 status.
The elite designation reflects measurable improvements to the safety and quality of care for patients – faster stroke treatment, more accurate medication distribution and additional life-saving advancements. 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 to HIMSS Level 7 is significant, accomplished by only 6.4 percent of health systems nationwide, according to a summary report in 2018.
Metro Health is one of only two health systems in the state of Michigan to have obtained the designation for ambulatory as well as hospital electronic medical records. Metro Health was the region’s first health system to adopt Epic electronic medical records, in October 2006.
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).