Meaningful Use: One Health System’s Journey

While most hospitals are focused on CMS’s release of the draft Stage 2 rules for Meaningful Use last week, now seems a good time to take a look back at how one health system managed to succeed with Stage 1. After all, more than half of all hospitals have yet to attest to Stage 1. Summa Health System, where I work as lead quality and clinical analyst, is one of the largest integrated healthcare delivery systems in Ohio, serving more than 1 million patients each year in comprehensive acute, critical, emergency, outpatient and long-term/home-care settings. Summa includes eight hospitals, more than 1,500 physicians and 11,000 employees overall. Nationally renowned for excellence in patient care, Summa implemented the Sunrise Acute Care Electronic Health Record (EHR) from Allscripts in 2003.  (Editor’s Note: Steve Shaha, Ph.D. wrote last week about Summa’s success using Sunrise […]

At HIMSS this week, Healthcare Informatics magazine recognized Blessing Hospital in Quincy, IL as an IT Innovator in their annual award program. Listen as Maureen Kahn, the hospital’s CEO, is interviewed by Healthcare Informatics managing editor John DeGaspari in this podcast on the hospital’s use of Sunrise Acute Care from Allscripts to deliver some truly industry-leading quality outcomes.   Kahn had this advice for other hospitals undergoing the EHR transformation: “You can get buried in a lot of data and it’s important to make sure that you … work towards getting true information that you can use to drive change. As you automate the patient record, we have so much data available to us that (the challenge is) how do you prioritize what will make the best impact to the quality of services you want to deliver.” Innovator Award Semi-Finalists Several other Allscripts clients were […]

Do acute care Electronic Health Records always achieve their intended goals? The literature on “unintended consequences” has long warned of the potential downside of EHR implementations and the unique challenges associated with computerization in healthcare settings. Alert fatigue, for example, continues to frustrate clinicians overloaded with un-prioritized pop-ups that lead them to click past both inane and critical alerts.  The moral is that simply computerizing medical records and ordering electronically with CPOE does not lead effortlessly to the clinical, efficiency and organizational performance outcomes we seek. In fact, it often does harm.  I was on the phone recently with a physician friend who was driving home after seeing a patient in a hospital that uses a competitive EHR.  Abruptly he said, “I need to turn around and head back to the hospital – I apparently ordered a ten-fold over dose […]


Stage Two: Let the Debate Begin!

Many of us who are close to healthcare IT regulation will soon be heads-down reviewing, analyzing and generally mulling over the Proposed Rule on Stage 2 of the Meaningful Use program, now that CMS is set to release it.  On top of late nights and a headache or two, there is one other thing we’re bracing for: the Great Debate as to whether CMS – with significant input from others – did a good job or missed the mark.  No matter what is in the Rule, some will argue that the proposed measures are too difficult, while others will insist CMS didn’t go far enough.  It’s clear we can expect significant back-and-forth on the appropriate balance of the Rule’s many elements – the thresholds, the quality measures, the requirements for data connectivity, privacy elements, and how best to measure patient engagement in […]


Nearly Half of HIMSS Attendees May Have This Chronic Disease

For a gathering of healthcare professionals, HIMSS registers pretty low on the healthy scale. Consider how attendees rank on just one chronic disease: An estimated 43 percent, or 15,000, of the 35,000 attendees expected at HIMSS12 in Las Vegas this week either have diabetes or pre-diabetes.  Impossible, you say?   To be fair, 43 percent represents the proportion of Americans with diabetes or pre-diabetes, according to the CDC’s National Diabetes Fact Sheet.  Presumably, the physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals who attend HIMSS are better educated about diabetes than the average American, and less likely to be diabetic. The point is, far too many people – whether at HIMSS or in living rooms across the US – fall prey to America’s most prevalent chronic disease. As a result, total direct and indirect costs of diabetes in the United States are $174 […]

Turn on the news these days and you’ll get an earful of what’s wrong with our healthcare system. High costs … low quality vs. other industrialized nations … medication errors that kill. But as you know, the media doesn’t always get it right. It Takes a Community offers an alternative to traditional media coverage of healthcare. The mission of this new blog is to educate by exposing what’s working in healthcare and how providers get to the goal line. You’ll hear from some of the world’s best physicians, nurses, CIOs and healthcare administrators. In their own words (and pictures), they’ll share some of the most remarkable stories to be found anywhere in healthcare today. You’ll also hear from experts within Allscripts. Our editorial team includes our Chief Medical Officer, Chief Medical Information Officer, and subject matter experts from every corner […]