Advanced stages of EMR leads to improved care, HIMSS study says

Some medical critics have provided a pejorative view of EMR in the United States, stating that facilities are not using the technology to demonstrate and track specific improvements.

In an effort to address this type of negative outlook, HIMSS Analytics in conjunction with research firm The Advisory Group recently undertook a survey of 33 different CIOs. The participants represented roughly 180 facilities holding between 25 and 900 beds and were selected to test the effectiveness of EMR implementation.

During the course of the study – entitled EMR Benefits and Benefit Realization Methods of Stage 6 and 7 Hospitals – the researchers found that EMR systems are improving patient care and safety.

The study surveyed healthcare professionals operating in facilities that have achieved the highest tiers of the meaningful use provisions, meaning they are virtually paperless. After analyzing the data harvested from the respondents, a majority expressed that digital healthcare practices allowed them to better pursue clinical objectives such as reducting adverse drug experiences, improving quality measures related to stroke patients and providing superior security measures.

In order for other practices to enjoy these benefits, it would be wise for facility mangers to deploy the services of a certified medical technology consulting firm. These professionals can implement a useful product suite including electronic medical records, electronic billing and eprescribing software. After completing implementation, these consultants can help identify facets of the practice that could be improved upon and train staff to use the software in order to better address those metrics. By taking these steps, a facility will have the tools at their disposal to reach the upper tiers of meaningful use criteria.

Microwize Technology is a leading healthcare IT consultant offering products such as electronic medical records software and medical billing software from top providers like Allscripts and McKesson, including McKesson's Medisoft, Lytec and Practice Choice products.