STAGE 7 SPOTLIGHT Union Hospital: Improving Quality of Care Across State Lines

HIMSS Analytics

The globally recognized HIMSS Analytics Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM) provides clear benchmarks for HIT implementation and helps organizations across the industry to improve the quality of healthcare, organizational efficiency and patient safety.

Achieving Stage 7 validation of the EMRAM acts as a testament to an organization's commitment to better patient outcomes, better patient experience and lower costs overall.

Let's look at how Union Hospital reached Stage 7 Achievement.

The Challenge

Union Hospital is a not-for-profit, full-service community hospital in Elkton, Maryland near the Delaware border. The 83 licensed bed hospital is nationally recognized for clinical excellence in the treatment and prevention of disease.

Union's 1,000 employees offer outpatient, surgical and emergency services, as well as a wide range of community education programs.

Because of its location, Union Hospital received patients from multiple states, and working with multi-state health information exchanges (HIE'S) was a priority to ensure accurate records of patient past medical history, home medications and hospital visits are available to inform current treatments.

Additionally, Union Hospital aimed to use scanning telemetry monitors and video technology for patient handoff to long-term care facilities and enable real-time scanning for paper documents so they could be immediately accessed through a paperless environment.

The EMRAM Implementation

To address their challenges, Union Hospital used the big bang adoption method to implement their new EMR and work toward a paperless state. A multidisciplinary team executed the instant changeover.

To improve care quality for patients crossing state lines, Union Hospital chose to become a member of multiple HIEs. They also started using video technology and real-time scanning to aid with this collaborative communication process.

The Results

Working with multiple state-level HIEs gave care providers greater insight into patient history and enabled more time-effective, cost-effective care. Scanned documents were shared via the HIEs, making patient results immediately available and accessible for community physicians.

The use of video technology for handoffs involving patients, family and staff resulted in improved patient satisfaction and facilitated the discharge and arrival of patients being transferred to long-term care facilities.

The Takeaway

Through their EMR implementation, Union Hospital learned the importance of involving end users from across the organization, the importance of clear communication and a change control process, and the benefit of establishing a command center complete with routine rounding for the first few weeks of go-live.

In the process of their Stage 7 achievement, Union Hospital saw an increase in both physician and patient satisfaction, exemplifying how the EMRAM can be used as a roadmap for healthcare organizations to increase efficiency and improve patient care.

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