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Fort HealthCare named to Most Improved list in national IT survey

Friday, July 12, 2013

Fort HealthCare has been named to the prestigious Most Improved list in Hospitals & Health Networks magazine’s Most Wired Survey, in recognition of the accomplishments the healthcare provider has made towards implementing a comprehensive electronic medical record (EMR) system. The survey, conducted between January 15 and March 15, asked hospitals and health systems nationwide to answer questions regarding their information technology (IT) initiatives. Respondents completed 659 surveys, representing 1,713 hospitals, or roughly 30 percent of all U.S. hospitals. The number of hospitals and health systems designated as Most Wired increased to 289. Only 25 healthcare organizations, including Fort HealthCare, were designated as Most Improved.

“Fort HealthCare’s Compass EMR project has four key goals: improve access to and exchange of information, improve clinical and operational decision making, promote wellness in the community and maintain our independent status and focus on community health,” said Michael Wallace, president and CEO of Fort HealthCare. “Since we began this journey, everyone’s hard work has shown remarkable results. I continue to be impressed with the exceptional skills and dedication evidenced by everyone associated with the Compass project and am especially pleased that these efforts have resulted in Fort HealthCare’s recognition as a Most Improved organization by this by prestigious publication.”

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Most Wired Survey, a healthcare industry standard for assessing steps hospitals have taken to establish the basic building blocks for creating
robust clinical information systems aimed at improving patient care. This includes adopting technologies to improve patient documentation, advance clinical decision support and evidence-based protocols, reduce the likelihood of medication errors, and rapidly restore access to data in the case of a disaster or outage. The survey has become a national inventory on hospital use of information technology to improve operations and patient care. Each participating organization receives a customized report detailing its individual strengths and weaknesses compared with other organizations nationwide.

The 2013 Most Wired Survey is conducted in cooperation with the American Hospital Association, McKesson Corp., AT&T, and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, an executive organization dedicated to serving chief information officers and other senior health care IT leaders.

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.

Further evidence of Fort HealthCare’s success in implementing the Compass EMR came in September, 2012. The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) notified Fort HealthCare that its electronic medical record initiative 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. 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.

Fort HealthCare is an integrated hospital and health system that attracts patients from throughout southeastern Wisconsin. Fort Memorial Hospital is a modern, fully accredited, acute care facility with 82 licensed 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, 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 at Johnson Creek and in the Advanced Pain Management Fort Atkinson ambulatory surgery center. Most major health insurance products are accepted. For more information, please go to