Faith Regional Successfully Fulfills Electronic Health Records Meaningful Use Requirements.
Successful use of electronic health records positions Faith to meet American Recovery and Reinvestment Act incentive fund requirements.
Norfolk –December 14, 2011: Faith Regional Health Services was recently notified by the Medicare/Medicaid Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Program of its successful attestation for Stage 1 Meaningful Use of electronic health records system effective November 2, 2011. This qualifies Faith Regional for its share of the government’s $27 billion in incentive funds. The U.S. Government requires all hospitals to implement electronic health records by 2015.
“For many years, rural hospitals have been sitting on the wrong side of the ‘digital divide’ in the health care industry, struggling to come up with the financial and human resources that could support a foray into electronic health records,” said Jim Sinek, President and CEO of Faith Regional. “But as we recognized the many clinical benefits associated with EHR and the fact that the government was offering incentive funds, we decided that we would do whatever it takes to find a way to make EHR a reality right here in Norfolk, Nebraska.”
Not only do hospitals need to show EHR is in place but that these records are being used in a meaningful way to achieve significant improvements in quality, safety and care coordination which benefits for both patients and providers. Quicker, comprehensive access to patient information ensures better care for patients, for example tracking EHR functions, helps reduce or eliminate duplicate tests, thereby reducing costs and increasing patient satisfaction. Physicians and caregivers are able to record patient notes faster with a seamless and uniform EHR throughout the hospital, fulfilling chart requirements and eliminating the timely steps of the traditional pen-and-paper process. Accurate billing and better coordination with insurance companies will ultimately reduce costs associated with rework.
Faith Regional worked with Quammen Health Care Consultants (QHCC) to implement a Siemens Soarian Clinicals solution that is typically used by larger hospitals. As a result, Faith Regional was able to afford and utilize the feature-rich system as the basis of its EDGE (Electronic Data to Gain Excellence) EHR.
“We’ve been meeting many of the meaningful use requirements since the very first day of our go-live in 2010, when clinicians entered about 70% of orders through computerized provider order entry, far exceeding the government’s requirements,” stated Becky Quammen, CEO of QHCC and interim Chief Information Officer at Faith Regional. “Our team of physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals made it possible to successfully attest in Year 1. In fact, we have already substantially met and exceeded some of the requirements for Stage 2 Meaningful Use.”
Faith Regional is the first Siemens clinical customer in an 8-state region (Nebraska, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and Kentucky) to achieve successful attestation, computerized provider order entry (CPOE) and paperless EHR – and is among a select group of community and rural hospitals across the country to do so.
In addition, Faith Regional also made it possible for area critical access hospitals to cut costs through remote hosting and hospital collaboration. Remote hosting allows a hospital’s servers to be maintained by a vendor reducing the need to hire and train additional IT staff. Earlier this year, Faith Regional made it possible for Tilden Community Hospital (TCH) to implement an EHR system through Faith Regional. TCH received notification that it had successfully attested for Meaningful Use on November 17, 2011.
“With EHR in place, Faith Regional has already been able to reduce costs and improve productivity throughout the hospital and the region,” added Sinek. “Physicians and other clinicians are using the EHR to transform how they deliver care. And, in the final analysis, the patients in the community will benefit the most as we provide the best possible clinical care and service.”
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