Guest blog by David Voss
Decreasing redundancies and increasing efficiencies are a major priority for every healthcare organization. The future of healthcare demands vast improvement in information management to maximize outcomes and survive today’s climate.
Despite EMR implementations, paper is still common throughout the health system. To remedy this, a strategic paperless plan is essential. Luckily, there are standards and metrics that allow health systems to measure their current paperless strategy.
The EMR Adoption Model
Providers look towards HIMSS Analytics for these standards and guidelines. HIMSS Analytics has created a standard measuring tool called the EMR Adoption Model (EMRAM.) The EMR Adoption Model is an 8-stage model that measures healthcare organizations on their progress toward achieving the ideal paperless patient record environment through the adoption and utilization of EMR functions.
Ranging from limited back-office business process automation to a fully paperless, automated EMR environment where clinical data and non-clinical data are being used to augment the patient experience, improve patient outcome, increase patient safety, and garner additional gains across the continuum of care, the EMRAM provides a roadmap for transforming healthcare through IT.
What is required?
As more providers achieve this designation, HIMSS continues to revise and improve the Stage 7 criteria. On January 1, 2018, ERAM was updated with the following criteria that you can find here.
Successfully achieving HIMSS Stage 7 requires teamwork
It is very true that the overall process to achieve this high mark can seem very overwhelming. However, without the proper attention and focus on this achievement, providers are wasting valuable resources and losing out on some easy wins and comprehensive system-wide benefits. In fact, it’s clear that the sometimes hundreds of millions of dollars of investment into the EMR is only partially recognized without this achievement. To begin to see the big picture and how far they have already come, Providers need to take a step back.
A particularly common barrier is that the EMR is typically regarded as an IT-based project. IT is necessary to implement the technology, however the focus and process of minimizing paper, increasing automation and efficiency, and the benefits that follow, every department, every leader, and every end-user, must also be bought into. On top of that, everyone must be willing to collaborate across the enterprise to successfully adopt electronic workflows. Indeed, it takes teamwork throughout the organization to fully leverage all aspects of the EMR. And it takes engagement and passion from both executives and clinicians to implement and guarantee success.
5 solid guiding principals for success
- Patient-Centric – The overarching and driving aspiration must be to improve the patient experience and augment the quality of care.
- Real Shared Ownership – Both Operational and Clinical leadership will partner closely to drive progress and design workflows that actually work and produce the desired outcomes.
- Best Practice – The newly designed and implemented workflows must be based on data-driven decisions and evidence-based care. Taking the proper amount of time to develop case studies and map out how each new workflow will, directly and indirectly, impact other workflows across the organization is of paramount importance.
- Standardization – Wherever possible, standard methods and standard workflow functionality should be used to limit one-off solutions that often detract from desired outcomes and result in increased support costs.
- Easy to Use – Design must be focused on ensuring ease-of-use and efficiencies, prior to implementation, to avoid implementing a poorly designed workflow just for the sake of implementing something. How the system will be used is much more important than getting the system implemented.
Who has achieved HIMSS Stage 7?
By the end of Q4 of 2017, according to HIMSS analytics, only 6.4% of US Providers have achieved HIMSS Stage 7. For a complete list, Click Here.