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January 22, 2009

Presby recognized for electronic records system

UPMC Presbyterian has been recognized by the leading health care technology industry organization for its advanced use of a comprehensive electronic medical record (EMR), achieving a technology and patient safety distinction earned by only 24 of more than 5,700 U.S. hospitals.

UPMC Presbyterian joins Children’s Hospital as a “stage 6” hospital, according to HIMSS Analytics, a not-for-profit subsidiary of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). HIMSS Analytics scores hospitals based on their progress in completing eight stages — from zero to seven — of a paperless patient record environment. Its studies have shown correlations between high-quality metrics and EMR adoption. No hospital has reached the highest level.

With deployment of its computerized physician order entry (CPOE) in October, UPMC Presbyterian achieved stage 6 functionality, which also includes computerized charting, a clinical data repository, decision support for clinicians, positive patient identification (PPID) and physician documentation. Systemwide, CPOE is deployed across nearly half of UPMC’s inpatient beds versus less than 2 percent nationally, and each of UPMC’s 20 hospitals uses some aspect of eRecord, as the system is called. At UPMC’s more than 400 outpatient settings, an estimated 60 percent of physicians have access to the ambulatory eRecord.

UPMC’s use of EMR technology, which dates back to the late-1990s, already has achieved significant patient safety and efficiency gains. With CPOE, for instance, UPMC St. Margaret showed a 77 percent reduction in missed medications, while medication turnaround times at UPMC Shadyside improved 52 percent. Prescriptions of more cost-effective generic drugs at physician practices with electronic-prescribing capabilities have climbed more than 20 percent.

HIMSS Analytics collects data from more than 5,000 U.S. hospitals, as well as facilities in Canada, to provide an accurate and current view of EMR implementations. HIMSS is a health care organization focused exclusively on providing leadership for the optimal use of health care information technology and management systems for the betterment of health care.

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