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Springhill Medical CIO reveals award-winning strategies, Part 1

Editor’s Note: Springhill Medical Center (Mobile, AL, U.S.A.) is always moving forward. The privately owned, independent hospital recently achieved a prestigious Stage 6 in the HIMSS Analytics’ Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM). Only about 13% of U.S. hospitals have attained HIMSS EMRAM Stage 6, which shows significant progress in integrating electronic systems. And that’s not all. This year marks the third time The Outsourcing Center, an international company, recognized Allscripts and Springhill with the Best Outsourcing Partnership award. Springhill’s Chief Information Officer Mark Kilborn shares some of the best practices that earned these recognitions. This post will focus on achieving HIMSS EMRAM Stage 6.

Why achieving HIMSS EMRAM Stage 6 is important to Springhill

HIMSS Analytics Stage 6 validates the progress and impact of the electronic health record (EHR) to improve patient safety, outcomes, the move to the paperless record and overall integration. I know the whole question on the value of the electronic record is still being debated, but here at Springhill, we’ve put that question to rest. It makes a huge, positive impact.

This is a very competitive market, with nine hospitals in a 75-square-mile area. We’re the small, independent hospital that took a risk by being the first in the community to start using an electronic health record (EHR) system back in 2003.

Most of our physicians can go to a competing hospital if they don’t like the way we do things. It’s a credit to the organization and the physicians that adoption is as strong as it is. Ten years later we find ourselves a paperless hospital on the cutting edge of technology

Springhill is only the fourth hospital in the state and first in our area to achieve Stage 6. We wanted that stamp of approval. Stage 7 is in our sights.

Factors that helped Springhill achieve Stage 6

First and foremost, we’re successful here because the vision comes from the top. Our hospital president and board set the stage by moving forward with the SunriseTM platform from Allscripts back in 2003. That early commitment to the EHR gave us a sizable lead over the other area hospitals on the EHR front.

Then there’s adoption. To truly maximize the potential of the system, it has to work for all of the care-givers. Doctors, nurses, therapist, phlebotomist and so on…  It is a difficult transition for all of them to put away pen and pad and place their trust in technology.

Having the right solution, one that enables us to customize the system to meet the needs of the individual physician, goes a long way towards adoption.

Lastly, having the right IT staff with the right skill sets and end users that buy in to what we are trying to do here.

The combination of an executive suite actively championing the project, under the direction of a highly skilled IT department and end-user community that has embraced the EHR is what put us in place to qualify for Stage 6.

Editor’s Note:  You can learn more about another health system’s work to achieve Stage 6 in a recent blog post, CIO Bill Phillips on the value of HIMSS EMRAM. If you’re curious about where your organization fits on the HIMSS EMRAM model, Allscripts offers a mock evaluation. We’re the first certified educator of HIMSS Analytics EMR Adoption Model, and we can help you figure out next steps. To learn more, contact Allscripts.

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