Texas Health Resources, a non-profit healthcare organization that operates a network of hospitals in the northern part of the Lone Star State, has revalidated its facilities to HIMSS Analytics’ Stage 7 Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model.
In total, 14 of Texas Health’s wholly owned hospitals have earned Stage 7 revalidation in recognition of their advanced electronic health record environment. Epic Systems is the EHR vendor for the organization.
“We started our EHR journey in 2004, our first hospital went live in 2006, and by 2013, we achieved Stage 7,” says Mary Beth Mitchell, chief nursing informatics officer at Texas Health. “When it came time to revalidate our first hospital, we decided to do an enterprise revalidation in which every one of our Stage 7 hospitals had to meet the requirements.”
EMRAM is a methodology for evaluating the progress and impact of EHR 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 represents the highest EMRAM level.
According to Mitchell, having its hospitals designated as Stage 7 facilities demonstrates Texas Health’s commitment to patient care and quality. She also contends that the healthcare system is driven to improve the clinician experience and their ability to deliver quality patient care.
“Texas Health has made great progress over the past three years,” said John Daniels, global vice president of the healthcare advisory services group at HIMSS Analytics. “They have successfully implemented smart pumps across all 14 hospitals, they use advanced analytics to convert acuity and census data into optimized nurse staffing levels, and have placed emergency department tracking monitors in the lab that help optimize lab operations and staffing. All of these initiatives are made possible through Texas Health’s innovative use of their IT investments.”
For its part, Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Hurst-Euless-Bedford , a 304-bed acute care facility, installed an ED tracking board in their lab’s receiving and processing area, which increased efficiency for both lab techs and nurses by reducing the number of phone calls between the two groups, as well as enabled staff to keep patients well-informed. Further, since diagnoses are displayed on the board, blood bank staff members are able to anticipate potential transfusion needs.
“We’re a large organization, and we don’t always have things set up exactly the same in every hospital,” adds Mitchell. “What Hurst-Euless-Bedford did by putting their ED track board in their lab was brilliant, and I’m hoping we can implement those monitors—which shows the status of all patients–in the rest of our hospitals’ labs.”
In addition, Mitchell points to the use of technology at Texas Health to correctly administer medications. Bar-coded medications and smart IV pumps are leveraged to verify that patients receive the correct medication.
Going forward, she says the healthcare organization is looking to take advantage of mobile health by implementing Epic’s Rover app for its nursing staff to have secure access to tools for clinical review, patient list management, medication administration, specimen collection, and vitals on their mobile devices. “We’re moving more towards digital health and mobility, making the workflows operate more like they do for people in their daily lives,” Mitchell concludes.
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