UW Medicine’s Valley Medical Center use of electronic health records in outpatient settings has been rewarded, as it is the latest recipient of HIMSS Analytics’ Stage 7 Outpatient Validation award.

The designation honors the top level of achievement for the use of electronic medical records. The Outpatient EMR Adoption Model provides a methodology for evaluating the progress and impact of electronic medical record systems for ambulatory facilities owned by hospitals. These facilities can include physician practices, clinics, outpatient centers and specialty clinics.

Tracking their progress in completing eight stages (ranging from 0 to 7), outpatient facilities can review the implementation and use of IT applications with the intent of reaching Stage 7, which represents an advanced electronic patient record environment.

“Achieving HIMSS 7 validates that we are ahead of the curve in our avid adoption and integration of technology as well as robust use of analytics and dashboard reporting, giving us the intelligence to make more informed decisions,” said Wayne Manuel, senior vice president of strategic services and chief information officer of the facility in Renton, Wash.

“It also means we are well positioned to meet the changing demands of healthcare reform,” says Manuel. “By utilizing and continually optimizing the digital tools available, we have been able to streamline workflows for our staffs, put patients front and center with the goal of improving the quality of care we provide, ultimately impacting in a very positive, significant way our patient outcomes and experience.”

Valley Medical Center is a 303-bed acute care hospital and clinic network. The oldest and largest public district hospital in Washington state, VMC serves more than 600,000 residents in South King County. VMC is the largest nonprofit healthcare provider between Seattle and Tacoma. VMC is also South King County's only disaster recovery facility and offers advanced emergency care in its Level III Trauma Center.

During the first quarter of 2016, only 8.1 percent of the more than 37,000 outpatient clinics received the Stage 7 Outpatient Certification.

“VMC has done a phenomenal job establishing the culture we expect of a Stage 7 organization. From the CEO and throughout the ranks at all levels, it was clear they all share a common vision to provide the best healthcare quality, service and access through their use of information technology,” said John H. Daniels, global vice president of the healthcare advisory services group, HIMSS Analytics.

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