Here’s a story of what can happen when a hospital starts out from scratch with the latest in EMR knowledge, rather than having to integrate its system bit by bit.
Texas Health Alliance, a 50-bed acute-care hospital based in north Fort Worth, has been named as achieving the rarely-seen Stage 7 in HIMSS Analytics EMR Adoption Model. At present, only 103 U.S. hospitals, or 1.9 percent, are currently at Stage 7.
Some of the outstanding features of the rollout include:
* Over 95 percent utilization of CPOE (driven predominately by well-designed order set content, HIMSS says)
* Advanced clinical decision support alerts that support best practice protocols
* Smart use of an enterprise data warehouse used to monitor best practice alerts and core measures
* Closed-loop medication administration environment
This award is interesting given that small hospitals have been well behind the curve in Meaningful Use and meeting the HIMSS standards. But there’s some obvious reasons why it’s been so successful.
For one thing, THA has been open only since September. I’ll bet many readers would kill for the clean slate that offers the IT people there. No need for expensive integration projects to bring the new EMR on board; no having to switch staffers from one technology to another; no major transition from paper to digital; and the list of benefits goes on.
Another major factor working in its favor is that THA is part of nonprofit hospital system Texas Health Resources.
A tiny hospital backed by a sizeable IDN is in a different position entirely than an independent critical access hospital, so it’s not exactly astonishing that it zoomed ahead. And when the parent chain already has its own (Epic) install well under way — and an engaged community of users — that knowledge goes a long way.
Too bad most hospitals can’t start out fresh the way THA did. Innovation always comes easier if it isn’t competing with the stuff you’ve already got.