By Wendy Grafius, contributing writer
Hilo Medical Center adds paperless solutions to EHR, rewarded with Stage 7 Award by HIMSS Analytics
Hilo Medical Center (HMC) of Hilo, Hawaii, has chosen Access paperless solutions to integrate e-forms, e-signatures, and clinical data into its MEDITECH 6.x EHR. The technology implementation has advanced the hospital from HIMSS Analytics EMR Adoption Model (EMRAM) Stage 6 to Stage 7, making it the first public hospital in the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation to reach this milestone and among an elite few in the United States. HMC will be formally recognized at the 2014 Annual HIMSS Conference and Exhibition on February 24-26, 2014, in Orlando, Florida.
Since transitioning to an EMR system in 2010, HMC has been progressing toward a paperless environment. Following a thorough market search, officials chose Access for the move to e-forms on demand. “We decided to go with Access for our e-forms and electronic patient signature project because they took the time to understand our needs,” said Money Atwal, CIO and CFO for the health corporation’s East Hawaii region. “Proven integration with MEDITECH was another big factor.”
The Access solution converts paper forms into electronic versions that are available on demand and have patient demographics prefilled from MEDITECH. Once a secure patient electronic signature is attained, Access integrates completed forms into patient records via MEDITECH Scanning and Archiving. “Patients don’t want to deal with a lot of paperwork and so moving to e-forms will help,” said Kris Wilson, project management office director at HMC. “They’ll electronically sign forms in one place instead of dealing with a whole packet of hard copies.”
Besides advancing HMC’s goal of delivering quality care along with the best possible patient experience, an additional benefit of the paperless system is reduced costs due to a rapid and lasting return on investment. “We could’ve gone with a standalone e-forms product, but siloed systems don’t produce the same ROI,” said Atwal. “As it will be integrated with our EHR, we expect the Access solution to deliver cost savings of $60,000 to $100,000 a year.”
Joint Commission accredited, HMC is the largest facility in the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation. Established as a 10-bed hospital in 1897 by the Hawaiian government, the facility now holds 276 licensed beds for acute care, skilled nursing, extended care, and its psychiatric unit. Several specialty clinics and an accredited home care agency are also part of HMC’s network. The hospital has received over $1.5 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds for meeting Stage 2 Meaningful Use criteria. The East Hawaii region of its parent corporation, Hawaii Health Systems Corporation, has attained as a whole, HIMSS Stage 6 and ARRA Meaningful Use Stage 1, resulting in $2.5 million awards.
SOURCE: HIMSS Analytics
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