Story by Mercy's Jennifer Harutunian
Besides Mercy being one of the first to put in place an integrated electronic health record (EHR) across multiple states, Mercy’s award-winning analytic tools and other efforts aimed at improving patient care have placed it once again on the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) “Most Wired” list.
It’s the eleventh time in the 16 years the award has been handed out that Mercy has made the list, alongside Kaiser Permanente, Mayo Clinic and Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
While the EHR has become the cornerstone to better coordinated patient care, no longer will it suffice as the single source of patient data. That’s because patients are getting their health care needs met in many different places – from the hospital to physician offices to walk-in clinics and urgent care centers. Coordinating that information is becoming more critical, especially when caring for patients with chronic conditions.
“With care delivered in a variety of settings, we needed a way to capture that information,” said Mark Brinley, Mercy’s executive director of data analytics and reporting. “That’s why Mercy built analytic tools that combine electronic record data with claims information and external sources. We then validate the data, organize it so its intuitive and put it right back in the EHR so the most comprehensive patient data is available to the medical team caring for our patients.”
Just last month, Mercy installed its EHR in three more of its hospitals – which connects all 33 of Mercy’s critical care and managed hospitals, hundreds of Mercy’s clinic and outpatient facilities and thousands of Mercy physicians.
“We’re creating a strong fabric of patient data, from internal and external sources, to equip care givers with all the relevant patient information and even alert them when conditions pose risks to their patients,” said Gil Hoffman, Mercy’s chief information officer. “Our ultimate goal is to keep patients healthier and out of the hospital.”
The AHA’s Hospitals & Health Network’s Most Wired survey asked hospitals and health systems nationwide to answer questions regarding their health information technology initiatives. Respondents completed 680 surveys, representing more than 1,900 hospitals.
Click here to read the 2014 Most Wired list.
Mercy is the fifth largest Catholic health care system in the U.S. and serves millions of people annually. Mercy includes 33 acute care hospitals, four heart hospitals, two children’s hospitals, three rehab hospitals and one orthopedic hospital, nearly 700 clinic and outpatient facilities, 40,000 co-workers and more than 2,000 Mercy Clinic physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. For more about Mercy, visit www.mercy.net and for specific information about Mercy’s technology services, visit www.mercy.net/mercy-technology-services