WVU Healthcare has joined an elite group of healthcare institutions across the country that have been recognized for their efforts in using electronic medical records.

HIMSS Analytics, a subsidiary of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, scores hospitals based on their transformation to electronic medical records in stages. Stage 0 means that none of the organization’s key systems have been installed, while Stage 7 means that a hospital is virtually paperless. WVU Healthcare is now at Stage 6.

Of the more than 5,000 hospitals in the country, only 2.6 percent have attained a Stage 6 designation. Those hospitals include two hospitals in the Mayo Health System and two in the Johns Hopkins Health System, in addition to WVU Healthcare.

Rich King, WVUH vice president and chief information officer, said achieving this designation required the efforts of many individuals across the entire spectrum of WVU Healthcare. “This achievement is certainly not the work of any one person. It takes the focus of the whole organization to truly adopt the electronic medical records system and make it successful. It was a total team effort.”

According to Kevin Halbritter, M.D., WVUH chief medical information officer, achieving this designation is another example of WVU Healthcare’s continued commitment to providing quality care and improving patient safety.

Now that the Stage 6 designation has been achieved, WVU Healthcare’s eye is on the Stage 7 prize – one that will take up to two years to obtain.

Kim Clarke, director of applications and data management, said that climbing higher and higher on the designation ladder requires support from everyone within the institution as well as a significant amount of resources to put the necessary technology into place.

“In Stage 7, the hospital is truly paperless. Based on this, I would say that it is probably one to two years out before we would meet this definition,” she said.

There are currently 40 Stage 7 hospitals in the country.

For more information on WVU Healthcare, see www.wvuhealth.com.

For more information on HIMSS Analytics, see www.himssanalytics.org.



CONTACT: Angela Jones, HSC News Service
304-293-7087; jonesan@wvuh.com