News | April 11, 2013

HIMSS Analytics Recognizes Three-State Group Of Ambulatory Clinics With Stage 7 Award

Since 2005, HIMSS Analytics has tracked progress of electronic medical record implementation with its EMR Adoption Model? (EMRAM) for hospitals. Now, HIMSS Analytics announces that 54 Essentia Health ambulatory clinics, located in Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin, have reached Stage 7 on The Ambulatory EMR Adoption ModelSM (A-EMRAM).

Developed in 2011, the EMR Ambulatory Adoption Model provides a methodology for evaluating the progress and impact of electronic medical record systems for ambulatory facilities owned by hospitals in the HIMSS Analytics Database. These facilities include physician practices, clinics, outpatient centers and specialty clinics. Tracking their progress in completing eight stages (0-7), ambulatory facilities can review the implementation and use of IT applications with the intent of reaching Stage 7, which represents an advanced electronic patient record environment.

Stage 7 ambulatory facilities:

  • Deliver patient care without the use of paper charts;
  • Use their EMR and patient portal to drive patient engagement, and thus, improved health status through better health maintenance;
  • Use their vast database of clinical information and evidence based practice guidance to improve  outcomes using business intelligence solutions; and
  • Are able to share patient information through private and public health information exchanges (HIE), which improves communications, speeds up appropriate care delivery, and ultimately, reduces unnecessary consumption.

The validation process confirms ambulatory facilities have reached Stage 7 with a site visit conducted by an executive from HIMSS Analytics and a Chief Medical Information Officer with ambulatory deployment experience to ensure an unbiased evaluation of the Stage 7 environments. Visiting a representative ambulatory clinic or clinics that deployed the same EMR applications and software, the validation team conducts both a comprehensive system overview and an analytics review to ensure improved health status indicators and understanding of the effectiveness of their patient engagement strategy.

“Having a common electronic medical record that spans our integrated delivery system is a key strategy for Essentia Health.  As we focus on changing models of care, quality initiatives and new payment models, our EMR has been instrumental in allowing Essentia to adapt quickly to these trends,” says Dennis Dassenko, Chief Information Officer, Essentia Health System.

“Rich ambulatory health IT tools and real-time analytics have provided operational and clinical leadership the opportunity to change care models as we become an Accountable Care Organization (ACO). It also allows us to improve patient care by closing care gaps and improving quality metrics,” says Thomas H. Wiig, MD, FACS, Chief Medical Informatics Officer, Essentia Health. “Patient involvement on care councils and at medical section meetings has provided valuable feedback about optimizing our secure patient portal and other patient care tools, and adds to our goal of increased patient engagement.”

“Essentia operates in a paperless environment using its fully deployed, multi-specialty EMR as the backbone for its comprehensive analytics program, which is tied to a patient engagement strategy resulting in improved health status in asthma care and congestive heart failure,” says John P. Hoyt, FACHE, FHIMSS, Executive Vice President, HIMSS Analytics. “Serving a wide geographic area over several states, the Essentia clinics have adapted their program to fit a complex environment. With improved documentation, the claims denial rate has plummeted from the mid-teens to only 1 percent.”

As the current data on the A-EMRAM indicates, as of March 30, 2013, HIMSS Analytics has recognized only:

  • 1.10 percent of 19,234 ambulatory facilities at Stage 6; and
  • 0.9 percent of 19,234 ambulatory facilities at Stage 7.

An explanation of each stage appears on the HIMSS Analytics website.

About HIMSS Analytics
HIMSS Analytics is a wholly owned not-for-profit subsidiary of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society. The company collects and analyzes healthcare data related to IT processes and environments, products, IS department composition and costs, IS department management metrics, healthcare trends and purchase-related decisions. HIMSS Analytics delivers high quality data and analytical expertise to healthcare delivery organizations, healthcare IT companies, state governments, financial companies, pharmaceutical companies, and consulting firms. For more information, visit

Source: HIMSS Analytics