Group practice EHR adoption lags: The Heart of Texas Community Health Center in Waco, Texas stands out. The federally qualified health center has been using an integrated clinical chart and practice management system, from Epic, since 1997.

And it has measurable results to boot. Consider the following: when the practice began its deployment, less than 75 percent of its pediatric patients were fully immunized, just one of several quality metrics the group tracks. After implementing quality reporting, the practice quickly saw that level jump to 85 percent. "Peer pressure helps," says Timothy Barker, M.D., the group's chief medical officer, who presented at the HIMSS 2010 Conference in Atlanta.

The group publishes physician compliance with various quality measures adding an element of friendly competition to the deployment.  Nurses play a key role in the immunization effort, which is bolstered by a daily report the practice produces from its EHR. The report flags missed opportunities to administer vaccinations as part of "well child" visits.

--Gary Baldwin

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