CMH EHR Achieves Stage 1 ‘Meaningful Use’
Citizens Memorial Healthcare received the federal government’s stamp of approval by achieving Stage 1 “Meaningful Use” certification from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Fulfilling the requirements of Stage 1, CMH now is eligible for reimbursement under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). CMH has qualified for $2 million in incentive payments that are funded through the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs for the meaningful use of certified EHR technology. To achieve meaningful use, CMH was required to demonstrate compliance with 19 different measures of EHR use. Those include consistent use of patients’ medication and allergy lists, entry of medication orders directly by physicians into the EHR system, use of alerts to warn physicians if they order two medications that conflict and the ability to exchange health information with public health agencies. Through May 26 of this year, only 41 hospitals in the U.S. had achieved meaningful use. CMH qualified on May 29.
The EHR Incentive Program is designed to encourage doctors and hospitals to adopt and meaningfully use health information technology. The incentive program is intended to bring America’s health care system into the 21st century. EHR systems are expected to save lives, save money, and save time across the nation.
Those goals resonate with CMH. CMH was an early adopter of EHR technology. The hospital adopted an EHR system in 2003. The vision for that system is to allow patients to enter anywhere into the CMH continuum of healthcare and have a personal identity that is maintained across those care settings. In addition, CMH has designed the system to allow physicians and other caregivers to have access to patient information when and where it is needed to support the best care possible
As patients move throughout the CMH system, their medical history, lab results, allergies, diagnoses and medication list all stay with them so that their physician and other caregivers always have the most up-to-date information available to them. The CMH EHR system goes well beyond the requirements for meaningful use and even includes care records for the CMH-operated long term care facilities and home care agency. Home care patients can even have in-home monitoring of their blood pressure, weight and pulse oximeter readings that will populate through their phone line to their EHR at CMH.
“It is a powerful tool for our physicians and caregivers to have the most current information available at all times to inform their care decisions,” says Donald J. Babb, chief executive officer/executive director of CMH.
To connect patients to their EHR record, CMH has implemented a patient portal. These tools give patients access to and control over their health information. Within the patient portal, patients can request prescription refills and appointments, securely message their care providers and pay their bills online.
CMH has been recognized as a leader and innovator in the use of EHR technology. CMH was recognized with the Nicholas E. Davies Award of Excellence in 2005. The Davies award recognizes excellence in the implementation and use of health information technology, specifically EHR’s. Established in 1994, the program has recognized only 27 organizations with this award. The Davies is presented by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). CMH has been named by Hospitals & Health Networks as a Most Wired Hospital every year since 2005.
In January 2010, CMH was recognized as a Stage 7 hospital on the HIMSS Analytics electronic medical record adoption model (EMRAM). CMH was the first rural hospital to receive the Stage 7 Award. There are only 57 hospitals in the U.S. validated as Stage 7. The HIMSS Analytics EMR Adoption Model was developed in 2005 as a methodology for evaluating the progress and impact of EHR systems in hospitals. Hospitals are tracked on their progress in completing 8 stages (0-7). Stage 7 hospitals deliver patient care without the use of paper charts, can share patient information by sending secure standardized summary record transactions, use their vast database of clinical information to drive improved care delivery and are best practice examples of how to implement sophisticated EHR systems that fully engage their clinicians.
CMH has hosted more than 100 other hospitals to demonstrate and share lessons learned about implementing and using EHR systems. Since 2003, CMH has hosted hospitals from 41 states, Dubai and Saudi Arabia.
The proceeds of the incentive payment will be re-invested to continue to expand and update the medical equipment and computer systems throughout the CMH continuum of care.
For more information about information technology at CMH, call the CMH Information Center at 417-328-6010 or 888-328-6010.
August 15, 2011