BayCare Health System's progress in adopting an electronic medical records (EMR) system was recognized by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), a global organization known for thought leadership on improving health care through information technology (IT).
Electronic medical record systems can improve patient care, increase patient safety, enhance medication safety and increase efficiency. BayCare Health System reached Stage 6 of 7 in the EMR Adoption Model developed by HIMSS Analytics, a non-profit subsidiary of HIMSS, that collects and analyzes health care data. The adoption model identifies and scores hospitals using an eight-step scale (0-7) that charts the path to a fully paperless environment. Less than 20 percent of U.S. hospitals and health systems tracked by HIMSS Analytics have reached Stage 6 as they convert to a fully automated/paperless medical records system. The ten BayCare hospitals recognized join only three others in the Tampa Bay area that have achieved this milestone.
BayCare Vice President and Chief Information Officer Timothy Thompson commented, "BayCare's IT strategy has been focused on providing a better care environment for our patients through meaningful information. This recognition by HIMSS validates our leadership position in information technology, not just in Florida but across the U.S. Our achievement enables us to offer health care providers better access to important health information. It also puts relevant information at our patients' fingertips through the MyBayCare.org portal."
Stage 6 hospitals have achieved a significant advancement in their IT capabilities that positions them to successfully address many of the current industry transformations, such as meaningful use criteria in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act; claims attachments for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act; pay for performance; and government quality reporting programs.
The BayCare facilities recognized for reaching Stage 6 are Mease Countryside, Mease Dunedin, Morton Plant, Morton Plant North Bay, St. Anthony's, St. Joseph's, St. Joseph's Children's, St. Joseph's Hospital-North, St. Joseph's Women's and South Florida Baptist.