25% Of Hospitals Stalled On EMR Progress

As most readers know, HIMSS has developed a proprietary scale which it uses to track how far along hospitals are in their EMR adoption process.

As I discussed previously, the predictable has happened when it comes to progress. Hospitals with extensive resources, notably academic medical centers and large suburban chains, have climbed the eight-step ladder of the scale, known as the HIMSS Analytics EMR Adoption Model (EMRAM), while smaller and rural facilities have moved more slowly.

Now, there’s evidence suggesting that making progress on EMRAM is harder than it seemed previously. New research from HIMSS comparing quarterly EMRAM progression of 4,811 hospitals during the last five years (Q2 2008 and Q2 2013) has concluded that a surprising number of hospitals are basically stuck in place.

The new report has found that 73.7 percent of  U.S. hospitals have advanced by at least one stage over the past five years, and that half of those who advanced climbed the scale by two or three stages. Another 20 percent of those advancing moved up four or more stages during the five-year period studied.

Right now, the largest number of hospitals (at 34.5 percent at Q2 2013) fall into EMRAM stage 3, which includes nursing/clinical documentation, CDSS (error checking) and PACS available. Stage 4 through 6 account for 43.3 percent all together, the most populated level being stage 5, closed loop medication administration, with 18.7 percent.

That being said, 25 percent of hospitals had made no progress whatsoever over the last five years. What’s more, four percent of hospitals have remained at EMRAM stage 0 (completely paper-based). As I see it, these are fairly surprising results given the Meaningful Use pressures hospitals face.

Meanwhile, only 2.1 percent of hospitals had what HIMSS Analytics regards as a “complete EMR” — one which includes CCD transactions to share data, data warehousing and data continuity with the ED — in place as of the second quarter of this year.

So, how’s your facility doing?  Is it able to progress toward higher EMR goals? Or is it mired down with the 25 percent?

About the author

Anne Zieger

Anne Zieger

Anne Zieger is a healthcare journalist who has written about the industry for 30 years. Her work has appeared in all of the leading healthcare industry publications, and she's served as editor in chief of several healthcare B2B sites.

1 Comment

  • Anne, great stats and thanks for sharing. My guess – physician documentation within the EHR is the culprit. It’s a huge, complex hurdle to overcome. Will be hot topic at AHIMA next week.

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