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Fort HealthCare Electronic Record Project Awarded High Honors

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Fort HealthCare was recently recognized for its implementation of a comprehensive electronic medical record (EMR) system by HIMSS Analytics, a wholly owned not-for-profit subsidiary of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). HIMSS Analytics recognized that Fort HealthCare has achieved Stage 6 on the EMR Adoption Model (EMRAM). Healthcare systems routinely track progress in completing the HIMSS eight stages (0-7) of successful electronic health record implementation and utilization. Stage 6 hospitals:

 • Have made significant executive commitments and investments to reach this stage.

• Appear to have a significant advantage over competitors for patient safety, clinician support, clinician recruitment, and competitive marketing for both consumers and nurse recruitment.

• Have almost fully automated/paperless medical records when they have implemented their information technology applications across most of the inpatient care settings.

• Are either starting to evaluate their data for care delivery process improvements or have already documented significant improvements in this area.

• Have made investments that are within reach of most hospitals and recognize the strategic value of improving patient care with the EMR.

• Have begun to create strategic alignments with their medical staff to effectively utilize information technology to improve the patient safety environment.

• Are well positioned to provide data to key stakeholders, such as payers, the government, physicians, consumers, and employers, to support electronic health record environments and health information exchanges.

Fort HealthCare is in rare company. As of January 2012, just 5.4 percent of the more than 5,300 U.S. hospitals tracked by HIMSS Analytics had reached Stage 6 on its Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model. “HIMSS Analytics congratulates Fort HealthCare for leading the way toward health information technologies adoption,” said John Hoyt, Executive Vice President, Organizational Services, for HIMSS. “Stage 6 represents a level of sophistication that only 286 US hospitals have reached to date.”

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. Stage 7 represents an advanced electronic patient record environment.

Stage 6 hospitals also have achieved a significant advancement in their information technologies capabilities that positions them to successfully address many of the current industry transformations, such as those required by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

“This is an exceptional accomplishment for everyone involved in the Compass Project and affirms that our hard work has already begun to show remarkable results,” said Michael Wallace, President and CEO at Fort HealthCare.

The Compass Project refers to the strategic partnership created last year with Cerner Corporation to implement a comprehensive electronic medical record system. The partnership’s main goal was to upgrade existing health record capabilities at Fort HealthCare and to create a medical record system that provides 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. The integrated medical records software also allows all to access one patient record at the same time—an impossible task with a cumbersome paper chart. The Compass EMR became available throughout all Fort Memorial Hospital and Fort Medical Group clinic locations on August 1.

Jerry Chamberlain, a registered nurse and Director of Information Technology Services at Fort HealthCare is similarly impressed with the scope of the Compass Project and the accomplishments of the entire organization. “The leadership at Fort HealthCare defines innovation. Not only are they making significant investments internally to improve patient safety and the financial health of the organization, but they are also investing in their community to make it healthier. The team has been able to deliver quality results in a short time period that have had an immediate impact on the organization.”

According to Jim Dahl, Fort HealthCare Chief Information Officer, HIMSS Stage 6 recognition is a respected form of external validation regarding how far we have come in our implementation of the EMR across Fort HealthCare. “We have positioned ourselves well to lead in our efforts to provide quality patient care with recognized best practices while using technology to improve our workflows and safety.”

“For instance with closed-loop medication management, physicians use computerized order entry and computerized clinical decision support to ensure correct medication dosing and prevention of drug interactions. Pharmacists receive these orders without having to decipher the doctor’s handwriting,” he added. Dahl also noted that nurses use bar coding technology to practice the Five Rights of Medication Safety: Right Patient, Right Drug, Right Dose, Right Route, and Right Time.

Wallace views Stage 6 recognition by HIMSS as an endorsement of Fort HealthCare’s tactics for achieving its mission: Improve the health and well-being of our community. “The Compass electronic record allows us to provide the highest quality, safest medical care possible. It also provides aggregate and individual data to monitor and reward positive health behavior. This will ultimately help us improve the long-term physical welfare of the community- resulting in improved economic benefit for all.”

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 and sub-acute care facility with 110 licensed beds. More than 100 physicians are on staff. Fort Medical Group, a subsidiary of Fort HealthCare, currently employs more than 50 physicians, nurse practitioners, and other healthcare providers. Fort Medical Group clinics offering primary and specialty surgical care are located in Fort Atkinson, Cambridge, Edgerton, Elkhorn, 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 UW Cancer Center Johnson Creek. Most major health insurance products are accepted. For more information, please go to

About HIMSS Analytics:
HIMSS Analytics collects and analyzes healthcare data related to information technology processes and environments, products, Information Systems (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 information technology companies, state governments, financial companies, pharmaceutical companies, and consulting firms. Visit for more information.