STAGE 7 SPOTLIGHT Rochester Regional Health: 68% Reduction in Central Line-Associated Bacteremia Rates

HIMSS Analytics

Strategic health IT investments have been proven to improve patient outcomes and save on overall healthcare costs across the industry. Adopting new systems that track, optimize and measure these impacts can be a challenge — that's why the HIMSS Analytics Electronic Record Adoption Model (EMRAM) enables healthcare providers to innovate within their organization using proven tactics.

This EMRAM Stage 7 Spotlight showcases Rochester Regional Health and their game-changing EMRAM implementation.

The Challenge

One of Western New York's most revered and trusted networks, Rochester Regional Health is a community-focused, integrated healthcare delivery system with over sixty-five primary care locations, five hospitals and a comprehensive array of innovative specialty providers, senior care and ACM Global Laboratories, a global leader in patient and clinical trials. Despite their dedication to healthcare excellence, their disparate data sets kept them from solving a common problem: bloodstream infections.

Every year in the U.S., approximately 250,000 central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) occur. A severe form of blood infection, CLABSI can lead to the contraction of additional diseases and, in severe cases, death. Realizing the risks, Rochester Regional Health developed an internal strategy to form objectives and optimize their process to reduce infections. Striking a balance between goals was key to success — they aimed to reduce overall bacteremia rates and documentation time for staff while improving the accuracy of central line data in the EMR (electronic medical record). With their goals mapped out and their weaknesses identified, they set their sights on reaching HIMSS Analytics EMRAM Stage 7 designation by 2017.

The Implementation

Rochester Regional Health knew that robust implementation doesn't happen overnight — they developed a series of milestones to help them achieve goals in real-time while staying focused on their larger Stage 7 strategy. Transitioning to an enterprise-wide EMR platform allowed them to eliminate duplicate applications and instead rely on a unified data set. They fostered multidisciplinary project teams by developing training modules and honed their change management and readiness processes. They refined their work streams to work with new EMR functions, making patient care more cohesive and reducing costs. New ways of engaging clinicians in the network were also rolled out. Drills and peer training were key elements to the adoption of new, robust EMR practices. Knowing that the alignment of people and processes was a must, Rochester Regional Health put in place key steps that would ultimately lead to their success.

The Results

Implementing these new EMR practices had a powerful impact on patient care and safety. Key improvements included:

  • From 2015 to 2017, Rochester Regional Health achieved a 68 percent reduction for central line-associated bacteremia rates.
  • Rochester Regional Health saw healthcare costs related to CLABSI events go down by $1,900,000 (according to AHRQ estimated cost per CLABSI event) simply by adopting and leveraging a unified EMR.
  • Without a single case of central line infection in the three months leading up to HIMSS Analytics EMRAM Stage 7 certification, Rochester Regional Health was empowered to focus on proactive patient care.
  • By using the EMR for consistent, low-friction patient data collection and collaboration across the network, doctors and nurses had reliable data at their fingertips and could easily engage with critical patient details.

The Takeaway

Rochester Regional Health's Chief Information Officer, John Glynn, summarized the effects of their effort perfectly, noting "Through our transformation away from the reliance on paper to leveraging the electronic medical record (EMR) as the best and most up-to-date source of patient information, along with the use of advanced analytics, we have significantly reduced potential medical errors, streamlined processes and ultimately provided safer, increasingly efficient, more cost effective and higher quality care for our patients."

As health systems large and small continue to merge, few roadmaps are as effective as EMRAM when it comes to improving patient outcomes, increasing efficiency and reducing healthcare costs. Building a 'new normal' within a healthcare network is a challenge worthy of a comprehensive, unified solution.

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