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 UM Health-West 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 UM Health-West’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.
UM Health-West 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.
UM Health-West 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. UM Health-West 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).