WCA Hospital, the region's leader in health care, has been recognized by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society for reaching "stage 6" status on the HIMSS Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model, making WCA Hospital one of only 669 (top 12 percent of hospitals in the U.S.) of the more than 5,300 U.S. hospitals tracked by HIMSS Analytics to achieve this status.
"WCA Hospital is a great example of how a vision can become reality in the world of healthcare information technology," said H. Stephen Lieber, CAE, President and CEO of HIMSS Analytics. "Currently only 669 hospitals in the United States, including WCA's, carry a Stage 6 designation. We congratulate WCA for their exemplary work in leading the way towards healthcare information technology adoption that improves patient care."
The HIMSS Analytics Stage 6 designation comes soon after the implementation of the SIEMENS Soarian Enterprise Electronic Health Record system which went 'live' at WCA Hospital on March 1, 2013. With the acquisition of the new electronic health record at WCA, patients have one electronic health record that can be quickly, efficiently and securely accessed at the touch of a button. The multi-million dollar investment at WCA Hospital enhances the clinical outcomes by allowing real-time access and updates to records as patients navigate throughout the continuum of care.
Pictured, from left, David W. Arnold, D.O., board-certified anesthesiologist who recently joined the medical staff at WCA Hospital, and Matthew Chang, M.D. FACS, board-certified surgeon and credentialed robotic surgeon on staff at WCA Hospital, showcase the “new” large TV white board monitor in the hospital’s surgery suite. The new white boards display the status of patients as they move through the surgical experience. Information is received from specific data objects located within the Surgical Information Systems Clinical Modules to provide real-time updates creating a visual communication tool for physicians, staff, and patient families. In addition to the main displays at WCA Hospital, a monitor has been installed in hospital’s ambulatory surgical waiting area. As patients arrive, they are given a card with their case number and a brief description of the different phases of care they will experience during their stay. This model of information integration improves communication between the clinical healthcare giver and the patient.
"We extend our gratitude to HIMSS for recognizing our tremendous efforts in the implementation of our hospital-wide electronic health record system," said Betsy T. Wright, FACHE, WCA Hospital president/CEO who was recently recognized as one of the most influential people in Western New York by Buffalo Business First.
"We are very proud of our board and hospital leadership, information systems staff, physicians, and clinical and support staff at WCA for reaching this level of electronic health record excellence. We will continue to work towards achieving even greater levels of health record integration with the goal of continuing to provide the very best in high quality, efficient, patient-centered care and service excellence."
HIMSS reports that Stage 6 hospitals are well-positioned to be successful with achieving the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act goals, measurements, and funding through 2014 and beyond. HIMSS Analytics developed the EMR Adoption Model in 2005 as a methodology for evaluating the progress and impact of electronic medical record systems for hospital in the HIMSS Analytic Database. Hospitals can track and review the implementation and utilization of information technology application with the intent of reaching Stage 7, which represents an advanced electronic patient record environment.
HIMSS states that its "Stage 6" designation indicates that WCA Hospital has:
Has made significant executive commitments and investments to reach this stage;
Appears to have a significant advantage over competitors for patient safety, clinical support, clinician support, clinician recruitment, and competitive marketing for both consumers and nurse recruitment;
Has almost full automated/paperless medical records when implementing its information technology applications across most of the inpatient care settings;
Is either starting to evaluate data for care delivery process improvements or has already documented significant improvements in this area;
Has made investments that are within reach of most hospitals and recognizes the strategic value of improving patient care with electronic medical records;
Has begun to create strategic alignments with its medical staff to effectively utilize information technology to improve the patient safety environment; and
Is well-positioned to provide data to key stakeholders, such as payers, the government, physician, consumers and employers to support electronic health record environments and health information exchanges.
WCA Hospital has also achieved a significant advancement in its IT capabilities that positions them to successfully address many of the current industry transformations, such as meaningful use criteria in the American Recovery and Reinvestments Act, claims attachments for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, pay for performance, and government quality reporting programs.
Keith Robison, chief information officer at WCA Hospital, is currently preparing the hospital for meaningful use Stage 2 in 2014 and will begin the work to implement a patient portal, CCD document exchange, and more. "We feel privileged to receive this honorable distinction from HIMSS. Everyone at WCA Hospital, alongside our information technology partners, have worked meticulously and persistently to successfully implement our new electronic health record system in record time with the mission to enrich the medical care of our patients."