Wayne Memorial Receives $1.8 Million for “Meaningful Use”
This, coupled with another incentive payment last year of about $412,000 for EHR brings WMH’s total to almost $1.8 million dollars. And, if all goes well, WMH could receive up to $4.8 million by 2016.
“Wayne Memorial has been in the forefront of using technology to advance patient care, particularly in the area of patient safety,” said WMH Chief Executive Officer David Hoff. “We initiated EHR before the federal government began its incentive program, so the payments are really icing on the cake. We did this for our patients.”
CMS is requiring all hospitals to implement EHR within the next few years or face penalties, such as reductions in the annual reimbursement increases hospitals receive for Medicare patients.
The move to electronically input and store patient records—tests, procedures, doctor’s orders, histories, insurance and billing information—is designed to improve the quality of healthcare.
“The federal government is looking at many ways to improve the quality of healthcare,” said Hoff, “such as reducing the potential for human error by having physicians input their orders on a computer and having tests be available electronically to many healthcare providers at once. EHR implementation has many phases, but Wayne Memorial Hospital is already ahead of the game.”
Wayne Memorial invested more than $6 million in its current EHR system, called Meditech, in 2006. This year, the final component of that system, CPOE or Computerized Physician Order Entry, was completed.
The hospital had to meet criteria in three key areas to obtain the incentive payment. These areas included steps such as assuring that physicians had access to and were using CPOE for all in-patients, confirming that clinical lab test results were being incorporated into certified EHR technology and percentages were being gathered electronically for statistics such as how long it took to admit a patient to a hospital floor once the decision to admit was made in the Emergency Department.
To meet the criteria required extensive teamwork. According to Renee LaPoint, LPN, Information Services’ clinical liaison, they had to build queries and dictionaries in Meditech to collect the required data to attest to meaningful use.
“Kristy (Kristy Tirney, RN) and I configured the questions that staff answered on the computer,” said LaPoint. “Between the documentation from the doctors and the nurses and the medication information collected, we were able to meet the requirements.”
“This is only Stage One out of three,” said Hoffman. “Going down the road, there will be increased criteria in all those areas, which will mean more ‘building’ within Meditech.”
Next year Hoffman added, “we will have to participate in a ‘health information exchange,’ meaning sharing our patient data with another approved party to increase general access. Your doctor in Florida, for example, could access your Pennsylvania information through this exchange.”
“In the end, this is all about getting better care and consistently better care wherever you go,” said LaPoint. “It’s a whole new world.”
Pictured: Meaningful Use Team members Kristy Tirney, RN; Melissa Diehl, CRNP/Hospitalist; Renee LaPoint, LPN; Tom Hoffman, Information Services manager. Missing: Louis O’Boyle, DO/Chief Hospitalist; Diane Thompson, Pharmacy; Jim Pettinato, RN, director Patient Care Services.Back