Dr. Jeremy Bradley Family Practice Center in Owensboro, Ky., and Coastal Medical Inc. of Providence, R.I., are winners of the 2012 Ambulatory HIMSS Davies Award of Excellence for use of health information technology.

The awards are named in memory of Nicholas Davies, M.D., a practicing physician and president-elect of the American College of Physicians, and a member of the Institute of Medicine's Committee on Improving the Patient Record, who died in an airplane crash in 1991.

Bradley’s practice, which includes a physician assistant and nurse practitioner, implemented electronic health records software from Praxis in 2008. The $46,000 investment has brought an annual return on investment of $130,000. Near immediate savings included $1,300 a month in transcription costs and a 15 percent cut in the malpractice premium. Patient intake has increased by 28 percent and revenue is up 45 percent. The practice also has attested for Stage 1 EHR meaningful use.

The EHR interfaces with internal and external lab systems, the billing firm, and the local immunization registry and hospital. Compared with peers, the practice exceeds clinical quality measures set by the American Board of Family Medicine for blood pressure and cholesterol control, exercise plans, smoking cessation and overall care plans.

Coastal Medical in Rhode Island, with 91 providers in 19 offices, implemented an EHR from eClinicalWorks in 2006 and early 2007. It soon after entered into its first pay-for-performance contact with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island, which had given the practice $500,000 to assist in buying the EHR. The plan later gave the practice more than $1 million when it received NCQA Level 3 patient-centered medical home accreditation.

Total EHR expenses of nearly $5.8 million have been offset with a return of investment of $17.8 million. Additional revenues have come from increased payments and performance bonuses from multiple insurers, and savings in malpractice and transcription costs, among other sources. A soft but important ROI, according to Coastal Medical, is how the EHR brought together the disparate practices to work as a team and provider better care coordination.

Among clinical benefits, Coastal Medical meets or exceeds Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island adult quality goals for diabetes, cholesterol and blood pressure control, depression screening and tobacco cessation intervention, as well as 10 pediatric quality measures.

In September, Hawaii Pacific Health won the 2012 Enterprise Davies Award, and awards also will be made in the Community Health and Public Health sectors. Case studies of award winners are available here. Winners will be honored at the 2013 HIMSS Conference in March in New Orleans.

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