Because access to timely, accurate medical information plays a major role in promoting and preserving high quality patient care, John C. Lincoln Hospitals are honored to be nationally ranked near the pinnacle of electronic health records (EHR) implementation and application, according to Robert Slepin, chief information officer of the Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network.

HIMSS Analytics, an arm of the international Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, announced that both John C. Lincoln Deer Valley and North Mountain Hospitals have achieved Stage 6 in the seven-stage electronic medical record adoption model HIMSS developed to evaluate the progress and impact of EHR on patient care.

As of January, only 13 percent, or 699, of the nation’s 5,400 hospitals tracked by HIMSS Analytics have achieved Stage 6 performance.

Stage 6 hospitals:

·         Have made significant executive commitments and investments to reach this stage.
·         Appear to have a significant advantage over competitors for patient safety, clinician support, clinician recruitment, and competitive marketing for both consumers and nurse recruitment.
·         Have almost fully automated/paperless medical records when they have implemented their IT applications across most of the inpatient care settings.
·         Are either starting to evaluate their data for care delivery process improvements or have already documented significant improvements in this area.
·         Have made investments that are within reach of most hospitals and recognize the strategic value of improving patient care with the EMR.
·         Have begun to create strategic alignments with their medical staff to effectively utilize information technology to improve the patient safety environment
·         Are well positioned to provide data to key stakeholders, such as payers, the government, physicians, consumers, and employers, to support electronic health record environments and health information exchanges.

“When announcing our achievement, HIMSS let us know that we are well-above the minimum requirements for Stage 6,” Slepin said. “Our hospitals are within a whisker of achieving Stage 7, the highest rating possible. This is excellent news for our patients.”

According to HIMSS, Stage 6 hospitals also have achieved a significant advancement in their IT capabilities that positions them to successfully address many of the current industry transformations, such as meaningful use criteria in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, claims attachments for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, pay for performance and government quality reporting programs.

“John C. Lincoln Hospitals are committed to providing our patients with the highest level of patient safety and care possible,” Slepin said. “Investing in information technology resources is a direct reflection of this. Patients receive the best care when the best information is available. Information technology provides real time information for the most efficient and effective care possible.”

“HIMSS Analytics congratulates John C. Lincoln Hospitals for leading the way toward health IT adoption,” said John Hoyt, FACHE, FHIMSS, executive vice president, HIMSS Analytics. “Stage 6 represents a level of sophistication that only 699 US hospitals have reached to date.”