After banishing paper records completely from four of its hospitals, Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center has reached rarefied air in its ascent toward full compliance with health IT standards.
Regular readers of this blog might remember a profile published in March about the facility, which announced at the time that it had spent more than $100 million to adopt electronic medical records and other health IT tools. Now, HIMSS Analytics has awarded four facilities under the Wexner banner its stage seven award for health IT compliance.
HIMSS Analytics launched its eight-stage EMR Adoption Model in 2005, with the seventh stage representing peak achievement involving the integration of health IT. Facilities that are awarded this designation no longer use paper records.
Wexner joins several other world-class hospitals that have reached stage seven, including Stanford University Medical Center, the Mayo Clinic, Children's Hospital Boston and the Kaiser Permanente Health Foundation. These facilities all share a care model that allows doctors to better coordinate treatment and diagnostic processes, which will ultimately produce optimized patient health.
"Our electronic system also gives patients more ownership over their own medical care through the patient portal," Wexner's CEO, Dr. Stephen Gabbe, told Healthcare IT News. "They can review their health history, read over test results and see records from doctors' appointments and inpatient hospital stays. This will help patients become the active participants in their own health."
Of course, not every facility has access to $100 million to integrate health IT platforms so quickly. Healthcare providers that have not yet achieved meaningful use or those that are concerned with HIPAA violations should contact a healthcare IT consultant to help them address any problems they may have with adopting these vital platforms properly.