STAGE 7 SPOTLIGHT Novant Health: $15.8 Million in Cost Savings Due to EMR Adoption

HIMSS Analytics

The HIMSS Analytics Electronic Medical Records Adoption Model (EMRAM) has provided the framework for countless organizations to transform the health and information technology landscape.

The eight-stage (0-7) model measures EMR adoption within hospitals and gives providers the healthcare insights they need to use their EMR more effectively, leading to improved quality of patient care and reduced overall operational costs. Healthcare organizations who've achieved Stage 7 have a near paperless environment where physicians can spend less time on inefficient administrative tasks and focus more on what they do best: improving the health and well-being of their patients.

Let's dive into the Stage 7 achievement process of Novant Health, a not-for-profit integrated health system headquartered in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

The Challenge

Serving over four million patients annually, the Novant Health System is composed of numerous medical centers, outpatient surgery centers, medical plazas, rehabilitation programs, diagnostic imaging centers and community health outreach programs. With nearly 24,000 team members, Novant Health is committed to providing quality healthcare for its patients and communities.

Prior to beginning their EMRAM journey, Novant Health had grown remarkably fast, accumulating over 100 billing offices and 28 different location-specific EMR vendors. These disparate systems caused a number of efficiency issues, and the organization needed to comply with the HIPPA 5010 Rule, which regulates the electronic transmission of specific healthcare transactions.

In order to continue delivering the highest quality of care possible, Novant Health needed to consolidate their numerous EMR systems into a single, integrated electronic chart system that would meet the leading standards for technology use, and increase healthcare insights. Additionally, the implementation was seen as an opportunity for the organization to meet all of the elements of its patient-oriented mission, including safety, choice and voice, authentic personalized relationships, affordability, "easy for me" and quality of care.

The EMRAM Implementation

Beginning in spring of 2010, Novant Health assembled a comprehensive project team to analyze the organization's current state and complete an in-depth analysis of potential EMR vendors. They created a five-year rollout plan to build and implement the new EMR system incrementally.

By spring of 2012, the project was so successful that it was accelerated and completed three years early. Currently, Novant Health has 463 clinics live with the EMR implementation, as well as innovative enhancements such as online scheduling, e-visits and video visits. The success of the rollout led to several nationally recognized installation awards.

The Results

Novant Health was the first health system in the United States to go live with integrated, advanced population health management dashboards, and they've noticed a tangible increase in the quality of care.

With 99 percent of their providers attesting for Meaningful Use of the EMR system by the last year of the rollout, Novant Health found that:

  • The convenience of patient portals has positively affected preventative care and increased each patient's participation in their own healthcare.
  • In the last year, they experienced $15.8 million in cost savings by releasing test results through the patient portal. Additionally, the EMR reduced transcription costs by 70 percent from 4.2 to 1.3 million dollars annually since the beginning of the implementation.
  • Each month, over 2,500 appointments are scheduled online and over 100 new patients access a primary care provider.
  • The implementation of an integrated practice management system allowed for the consolidation of 100 billing offices into one, which resulted in a 70 percent decrease in gross AR days, and an increase in global charges, payments and collection rate.

With an incremental and incredibly successful rollout, patient participation and demand, post-rollout optimization efforts and leadership alignment and governance, Novant Health was able to transform the way they deliver care for their patients, increase healthcare insights, and uphold their mission to provide remarkable patient experiences at every stage of care.

The Takeaway

“We have leveraged our EHR as a catalyst for system-wide transformation," said Dave Garrett, Senior VP and CIO of Novant Health, "and because of this, our patients are benefiting from coordinated medical care.”

Like the team at Novant Health, organizations around the world can use the EMRAM to consolidate their disparate EMR systems. With one source of truth for patient information, scheduling, billing, diagnostics and more, both physicians and patients will benefit from the increased healthcare insights.

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