All HIT “to-do” lists are too long, and getting longer by the day. It’s tempting to focus on projects that have an immediate, easily quantified high-dollar payback. But CIO Mike Mistretta at MedCentral Health System, Mansfield, Ohio, thinks there’s more to ROI than money. He’ll take listeners through his methodology for evaluating I.T. projects based on metrics such as likelihood of successful adoption, increase in patient satisfaction, and improvement in clinical outcomes. The session, “Leveraging Pre-Metrics to Prioritize the Highest Value IT Projects,” will be held Wednesday, Feb. 26 at 11:30 a.m.

One item on his list was an initiative to reduce patient falls—not a revenue generator in any way, but a top priority both from a risk management perspective and to improve patients’ experience. How does an EHR keep people from falling out of bed? By reminding the nursing staff to complete a detailed fall risk assessment for each patient admitted, and then reminding them to check on patients frequently. Because many falls happen when patients try to get to the bathroom on their own, frequent checks reassure them that help is on hand when they need it. The combination of documentation and frequent reminders did the trick. “Now our patient fall rate is well below national benchmark levels, and has gone from a problem to a strength,” Mistretta says.

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