Ontario Shores revalidates to Stage 7 EMRAM

Mental health provider is the first hospital in Canada to reach the milestone for EHR excellence.

Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences has revalidated to HIMSS Analytics’ Stage 7 Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model, making it the first hospital in Canada to achieve the milestone for a totally paperless records environment.

“We were the first hospital in Canada to reach the Stage 7 designation in 2014 and I believe we’re the first hospital in Canada to go through the Stage 7 revalidation process,” says Ilan Fischler, MD, physician-in-chief and medical director of clinical informatics at Ontario Shores.

EMRAM is a methodology for evaluating the progress and impact of electronic health record systems at hospitals, which includes eight stages (0-7) that measure a hospital’s implementation and utilization of IT to optimize healthcare and the treatment patients receive. Stage 7 is the highest EMRAM level.

The 326-bed mental health hospital, located near Toronto in Whitby, Ontario, and five clinics leverage Meditech’s 6.1 EHR platform for all inpatient and outpatient electronic documentation, according to Fischler. In addition, Ontario Shores has embedded decision support into the system to improve the quality of care, patient safety, and efficiency, he adds.

“We built our templates and order sets in house through a governance process that ensured that we had appropriate physician and clinician involvement and ensured that what was being implemented was consistent with the best evidence,” says Fischler.

Also See: Before its EHR went in, Ontario Shores started over

According to HIMSS analytics, by integrating a care assessment tool into the EHR and using business intelligence tools and process redesign, Ontario Shores has decreased the average length of stay for discharged patients which have generated overall cost savings.

In addition, HIMSS notes that the provider launched a patient portal called HealthCheck that enables patients to securely access their electronic health information, including discharge summaries, lab results, medications and visit history, as well as request appointments and facilitate automated messages to and from physicians.

Fischler says Ontario Shores is working with Meditech to implement additional functionality for the patient portal. Ultimately, he sees patients being able to document standardized rating scales and to fill out template forms that would flow into the EHR.

“Ontario Shores has clearly demonstrated that they are a ‘learning organization’ by adapting to new models of mental healthcare delivery via their EMR,” stated John Hoyt, Stage 7 revalidation lead at HIMSS Analytics. “Acclimating their EMR to the mental health and addiction services environment is a complex endeavor that they have accomplished, as recognized by their revalidation as a HIMSS Analytics Stage 7 organization. They have a comprehensive set of multidisciplinary documentation tools that generate discrete data to serve their growing analytics function which is a growing challenge in mental health services. We are proud to revalidate Ontario Shores as an acute care Stage 7 organization.”

Going forward, Fischler says Ontario Shores is exploring leveraging predictive analytics and advancements in population health. In particular, he reveals that the provider is starting to work with IBM Watson to analyze its repository of data and is in the pilot stage.

“The idea is to use data generated by both patients and physicians to drive quality improvements,” he observes. “We see Stage 7 as a reflection of having the architecture to allow us to bring mental healthcare into the information age.”

He also says Ontario Shores is working on a joint project with Waypoint in Penetanguishene—another large mental health organization in the province—in which they are using the same instance of the Meditech EHR and standardizing its processes so that they use common templates and order sets.

“We’re hoping to bring other organizations on to the same initiative—the idea being that we will set a benchmark for best practice in mental health and help drive improved quality across the province,” concludes Fischler.

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