HCMC recognized for leadership in electronic health record use

by Hennepin Healthcare

Contact: Christine Hill, 612-873-5719

One of the earliest users of electronic health record technology for patient care, Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) is one of only 4 percent of more than 5,300 hospitals in the U.S. hospitals that have reached Stage 6 in the Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM) tracked by HIMSS Analytics, a wholly owned not-for-profit subsidiary of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). 

As of August 2011, only 227 U.S. hospitals and 241 in the world achieved Stage 6 in their electronic health record (EHR) implementation and use.

 “This is a tremendous achievement for HCMC that has far-reaching benefits for our patients and our community,” explains Joanne Sunquist, HCMC CIO.  “This level of EHR use means that we are truly using integrated advanced technology to support quality and efficiency in patient care.”

Dr. Kevin Larsen, HCMC’s Chief Medical Information Officer, agrees. “We are proud that our EHR helps us deliver better care to our patients. Like other hospitals and clinics that use EHRs, it has helped us improve our care coordination, outreach and health outcomes. The EHR also gives patients better access to their information about their health and their care. We have partnered with our patients to assure that our EHR serves their needs.” 

Stage 6 hospitals like HCMC also have achieved a significant advancement in their Information Technology (IT) capabilities that positions them to successfully address many of the current industry transformations, including “meaningful use” criteria in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. HCMC attested to its “meaningful use” on August 18, 2011, and expects to receive incentive payment for this initiative this month.

“From the beginning we recognized the importance of having a robust electronic health record system,” explains Sunquist, who often is asked to testify about her hospital’s success with its EHR system. “We’ve been well positioned all along because we’ve had the expertise and support we needed to implement the EHR.”

HIMSS Analytics developed the EMR Adoption Model in 2005 as a methodology for evaluating the progress and impact of electronic medical record systems for hospitals in the HIMSS Analytics™ Database.  Tracking their progress in completing eight stages (0-7), hospitals can review the implementation and utilization of information technology applications with the intent of reaching Stage 7, which represents an advanced electronic patient record environment.

Hennepin County Medical Center is a nationally recognized Level 1 Adult Trauma Center and Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center. In addition to a 477-bed hospital, Hennepin Health System, Inc. includes clinics in Minneapolis, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Richfield and Chaska, as well as retail clinics in Bloomington and Eden Prairie. In 1996, HCMC was one of the first hospitals in the Twin Cities to develop an electronic records system for its outpatient clinics. In 2007, the system was replaced with fully integrated electronic health record software from EPIC Systems.

For the fifteenth year in a row, Hennepin County Medical Center is listed in the U.S. News & World Report rankings of the top U.S. Hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” report.