Dr. Glen Chapman reviews a patient’s electronic health record at Moses-Ludington Hospital. The hospital is among the nation’s leaders in electronic records.
Moses-Ludington Hospital is among the nation’s leaders in electronic records.
The Ticonderoga health care facility achieved “meaningful use” of its electronic health records July 31. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services only 151 of the 1,327 critical access hospitals in the country have achieved “meaningful use” and received a financial incentive payment.
“The hospital has been preparing for this level of EHR (electronic health records) adoption for several years,” said Lisa Busby, chief information officer of Inter-Lakes Health, MLH's parent company. “Even before the federally mandated guidelines were established, we started to implement an electronic health record.
“We recognized early on that we could leverage technology to deliver quality healthcare to the patients in our community,” she said. “This early approach allowed us to be ahead of many other critical access hospitals in achieving ‘meaningful use.’ It was through a concerted staff effort across the entire organization that we made this goal a reality. It is an accomplishment that all of our staff can take pride in and demonstrates their commitment to patients in our community.”
Directed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Medicare EHR Incentive Program, dubbed “Meaningful Use,” was established to motivate hospitals to adopt electronic health records and use the technology meaningfully to support the delivery of high quality healthcare.
Moses-Ludington Hospital expects to receive more than $500,000 in incentive funds from Medicare and Medicaid for having met all “meaningful use” stage 1 criteria.
Some of the benchmarks for ‘meaningful use’ include using the hospital’s EHR for computerized physician order entry (CPOE) to enter medication orders, maintaining an active medication list for patients, implementing a clinical decision making rule, and electronically exchanging health information with another hospital.
“We are thrilled with our stage 1 ‘meaningful use’ achievement,” said Chip Holmes, CEO and president of Inter-Lakes Health, parent company of MLH. “It has required a tremendous amount of work and cooperation, but in the end, allows us to deliver a higher quality of care and improves patient safety. Inter-Lakes Health is committed to excellence and this is only one example of how the organization is excelling.”
According to Busby, the hospital continues to be ahead of the curve. While the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have only released proposed criteria for a second phase of ‘meaningful use’ requirements, MLH has already met two of the proposed goals.
The hospital has implemented an electronic medication administration record (eMAR). For inpatients, medications are ordered electronically utilizing the CPOE system by a physician and then the orders are verified by a pharmacist. The medication order is then processed by a nurse who scans the patient’s wristband and the medication utilizing barcode technology before it is administered to the patient. This allows the nurse to verify the correct medication and dosage is being given to the correct patient and ensures patient safety. Once the medication is given, the administration is recorded electronically on the eMAR system to keep a correct and complete medication administration record.
Physicians are also now entering all orders, including lab and radiology orders, electronically for inpatients, not just medication orders. That meets another proposed goal.
Inter-Lakes Health is a not-for-profit health care group that includes Moses-Ludington Hospital, Heritage Commons Residential Health Care, Moses-Ludington Adult Care Facility, the Inter-Lakes Dental Clinic and Lord How Estates. For more information visit www.interlakeshealth.com.
Inter-Lakes Health is an affiliate of Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, Vt.