HIMSS Analytics: Less Than 1% of U.S. Hospitals at Stage 6 EMR Adoption

Kathryn Mackenzie, for HealthLeaders Media, March 4, 2009

At a time when the new administration is striving to digitize the entire nation’s hospitals, a new analysis from HIMSS Analytics estimates only 0.5% of hospitals have reached the organization’s Stage 6 level of adoption.

According to the association’s Electronic Medical Records Adoption Model, just 42 of the more than 5,000 U.S. hospitals tracked by HIMSS Analytics have achieved Stage 6 capability, meaning they have made significant investments in healthcare IT and are almost completely automated utilizing paperless medical records.

HIMSS Analytics developed the EMRAM in 2005 as a methodology for evaluating the progress and impact of electronic medical record systems for acute care delivery hospitals. With an almost paperless environment, Stage 6 hospitals are ready to address many of the upcoming and current industry requirements, such as HIPAA Claims Attachment, pay for performance, and government quality reporting programs, according to HIMSS Analytics.

There are a total of 8 stages (0-7) on the EMRAM with the goal of reaching Stage 7 - operating in an environment where paper charts are not used to manage the delivery of patient care, and clinical data is used for performance improvement and analytics of care delivery.

"Only 0.5% of hospitals (tracked through the HIMSS Analytics Database) have achieved Stage 6 capabilities," said Mike Davis, executive vice president, HIMSS Analytics in a release. "The hospitals we rank as Stage 6 have implemented advanced clinical applications that improve patient safety and care delivery outcomes."

A link to the complete list of Stage 6 hospitals appears on the HIMSS Analytics Web site.

Kathryn Mackenzie is technology editor of HealthLeaders magazine. She can be reached at kmackenzie@healthleadersmedia.com.
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