Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, one of the largest pediatric clinical care providers in the country, has achieved Stage 7 on HIMSS Analytics’ Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model, becoming the first hospital in Georgia to achieve acute care Stage 7.

The three-hospital pediatric healthcare system demonstrated advanced use of information technology to improve patient care and advanced data analytics capabilities to drive improvements predicting demand for emergency services and patient acuity changes, according to HIMSS Analytics executives.

Also See: Nicklaus Children’s Hospital gets HIMSS Stage 7 award

HIMSS Analytics’ 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.

An Epic electronic health record system, which was first implemented in 2004, integrates research, quality and clinical care components across Children’s multiple hospital and outpatient facilities in Georgia.

“Especially in the inpatient space, we have been a ground-breaking organization building out in pediatrics Epic content and workflows long before most folks were,” says Jeremy Meller, vice president of IT at Children’s. “It’s helped us to build a strong foundation over time to be able to implement the more advanced capabilities of Epic, including patient safety such as barcode medication administration.”

Among Children’s technology capabilities, the pediatric provider is able to capture discrete data into the EHR as well as big data systems to provide advanced analytical capabilities to improve care.

“We have a full continuum of capabilities including population and disease management, where we can take the data and identify trends in patient health status, as well as the ability to integrate external information,” says Meller.

“One of the areas of predictive analytics we have is predicting emergency department volumes,” he adds. “Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta has one of the busiest pediatric emergency departments in the entire country, and it is very important that we are able to accurately predict volumes so that we can provide appropriate staffing and expertise to take care of patients. We’re able to take in everything from seasonal trends to disease or infection patterns, as well as air quality—which all have an impact.”

As the healthcare industry transitions from fee-for-service to value-based care, Meller contends that Children’s Healthcare is well positioned to deliver quality care to its patients through advanced analytics capabilities.

“Their data analytics are cutting edge,” comments Philip Bradley, regional director in HIMSS Analytics’ healthcare advisory services group.

Stage 7 represents the highest EMRAM level. Only 4.6 percent of hospitals in the U.S. have achieved Stage 7 and with the designation Children’s Healthcare has become the first hospital in Georgia to achieve acute care Stage 7.

Children’s Healthcare will be recognized next month at the HIMSS Annual Conference and Exhibition in Orlando, Fla.

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