Health system earns distinction for electronic records


Metro Health Hospital's rooftop garden is the second-largest green roof in Michigan. Courtesy Metro Health

A health system in the area has earned a top designation for its use of electronic medical record technology to improve patient care.

Metro Health-University of Michigan Health is the first in West Michigan to attain Level 7 status from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, or HIMSS, for its use of electronic medical record adoption in ambulatory and hospital applications, according to the system last month.

Roughly one-third of health care systems nationwide have achieved Level 6 status, and 6.4 percent of health systems have reached Level 7.

“Achieving this level is like finishing the last mile of a marathon or the final 100 feet of a mountain ascent – it requires tremendous effort and very few accomplish it,” said Dr. Peter Hahn, president and CEO, Metro Health.

Qualifications for achieving Level 7 include no longer using paper charts, using clinical data to analyze patterns and improve quality of care and data continuity between all hospital services.

As part of the designation process, Metro Health submitted case studies about the role of technology in its medical accomplishments, which include faster stroke treatment, reducing heart attack re-admission rates below national averages and more accurate medication administration.

Metro Health also has a HIMSS Level 7 designation for its adoption of outpatient electronic medical record analytics.

“While Level 7 represents the pinnacle of information technology achievement, it does not mark the end of Metro Health’s journey in IT innovation,” said Josh Wilda, chief information officer and interim chief operating officer, Metro Health. “If anything, it’s just the beginning.”

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