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HIMSS Analytics Recognizes Fort HealthCare with Stage 7 Award

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) recently notified Fort HealthCare that the recent electronic medical record (EMR) initiative at Fort Memorial Hospital and Fort HealthCare clinics has resulted in a HIMSS Analytics Stage 7 Award, signifying attainment of the highest level on the Electronic Medical Records Adoption Model. The HIMSS Analytics Stage 7 award honors hospitals operating in a paperless environment and represents those organizations that have achieved best practices in implementing an EMR. Fort HealthCare will be recognized at the 2013 Annual HIMSS Conference & Exhibition in New Orleans, La. on March 3-7, 2013.

HIMSS Analytics developed the EMR Adoption Model in 2005 to evaluate the progress and impact of electronic medical record systems for hospitals. There are eight stages (0-7) that measure a hospital’s implementation and utilization of information technology applications. The final stage, Stage 7, represents an advanced patient record environment. The validation process to confirm a hospital has reached Stage 7 includes a site visit by an executive from HIMSS Analytics and former or current chief information officers to ensure an unbiased evaluation of the Stage 7 environments.

“The HIMSS Analytics Stage 7 award is further evidence affirming the dedication of our medical staff and employees as they’ve worked tirelessly to improve the patient experience, using technology available in our electronic medical records system,” said James Dahl, chief information officer at Fort HealthCare.

This achievement, especially for a healthcare organization the size of Fort HealthCare, is very rare. Fort HealthCare is one of only 95 facilities, or 1.7 percent, of the more than 5,000 U.S. hospitals in the HIMSS Database, to have attained the HIMSS Analytics Stage 7 Award. “I am proud that we have attained an elite level of automation here in Wisconsin that up to now has only been achieved at a much larger university medical institution. This level of accomplishment will be invaluable as we serve our local community with outstanding care,” added Dahl.

In 2010, Fort HealthCare began planning for an organization-wide implementation of a comprehensive electronic health record system. The main goal was to create a medical record system that would provide critical medical data whenever and wherever it’s needed. This access to relevant, integrated clinical information allows medical professionals, such as physicians, nurses, pharmacists, therapists and lab technicians to communicate instantly with the rest of the patient’s care team and enables them to make the best care decisions possible.

Fort HealthCare chose to implement the Cerner Millennium® EMR system, encompassing more than 50 individual Cerner® solutions. The system, including radiology, pharmacy, laboratory and nurse documentation solutions, were installed in a “big bang” implementation to provide physicians and other care givers access to the highest level of medical record technology. Enhancements related to chronic disease management, revenue cycle and employee benefits management were also implemented. The online MyCompass Patient Portal allows individuals to manage and monitor their health and wellness, review test results, schedule appointments, track immunizations and medications, request prescription refills and more.

“We are on a journey here at Fort HealthCare to both digitize health care operations and, more importantly, create a system that positively impacts the health of our entire community,” said Jerry Chamberlain, director of IT, Fort HealthCare. “Today’s Stage 7 recognition validates the foundation we’ve built to achieve this goal, and positions us to take the next step in creating a healthier population here in Jefferson and Walworth Counties.”

The new EHR software system, known internally to Fort HealthCare staff as the Compass project, became available throughout all Fort Memorial Hospital and Fort Medical Group clinic locations on August 1, 2011.

Fort HealthCare President and CEO Michael Wallace led the organization throughout the installation of the new EHR. In a message to Fort HealthCare physicians and staff, he wrote “I continue to be impressed with the exceptional skills and dedication shown by everyone associated with the Compass project. I am especially pleased that your efforts have been recognized by this national organization - an organization focused on the optimal use of information technology for the betterment of healthcare.”

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About Fort HealthCare
Fort HealthCare is an integrated hospital and health system that attracts patients throughout southeastern Wisconsin. Fort Memorial Hospital is a modern, fully accredited, acute care facility with 82 acute care and nursery beds. More than 100 physicians are on staff. Fort Medical Group, a subsidiary of Fort HealthCare, currently employs more than 60 physicians, nurse practitioners, and other healthcare providers. Fort Medical Group clinics offering primary and specialty surgical care are located in Fort Atkinson, Cambridge, Edgerton, Johnson Creek, Jefferson, Lake Mills and Whitewater. Other services offered by Fort HealthCare include occupational medicine, rehabilitation and sports medicine, wound care, urgent care, home health, a preferred provider network for employers known as FortCare and more. Fort HealthCare is a partner in the University of Wisconsin Cancer Center Johnson Creek. Most major health insurance products are accepted. For more information, please go to http://www.forthealthcare.com.

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. Visit www.himssanalytics.org/ for more information.

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