By Mercy's Brad Haller
Simply gathering patient data isn’t enough in the digital age ‒ it’s how you connect the dots that matters. Mercy’s integration and expanded analysis of electronic health records (EHR) have received national praise once again.
For the 12th time in 17 years, Mercy has been placed on the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Most Wired™ list, alongside Kaiser Permanente, Mayo Clinic and others. The survey examined how organizations leverage IT to improve infrastructure, quality and safety, and clinical integration.
“Our patients are the ultimate winners,” said Gil Hoffman, chief information officer at Mercy. “We’re committed to using the most innovative technology to provide excellent care, and we have to challenge ourselves to continue raising that bar.”
Mercy’s Most Wired™ designation comes just weeks after winning Health Data Management’s Revenue Cycle Project of the Year. The honor, part of the Analytics All-Stars program, recognizes Mercy for automating a system within its EHR to better pinpoint diagnoses – such as sepsis, anemia and acute kidney injury – that are often overlooked.
“Traditionally, the work to identify and address documentation deficiencies had been difficult and time-consuming,” notes Health Data Management. “The new process [at Mercy] … converts a 20-40 minute medical documentation specialist chart review process to an instantaneous detection of an opportunity.”
Similar analytics solutions at Mercy have helped eliminate the need to manually retrieve, rescan and upload data for patients. Real-time reporting tools capture 30 measures related to clinical quality and nine diseases, and provide it in a single view in the EHR for Mercy’s clinical team, who can then proactively manage high-risk patients and close gaps in care.
“Not only does this help eliminate duplicate tests and related expenses, it keeps patients healthier with the care they need when they need it,” said Debra Barnhart, director of Accountable Care Operations Support at Mercy. “Other analytics allow us to predict which patients will need follow-up care. In turn, we’re seeing far fewer people needing to return to the hospital.”
Mercy began using EHR in 2008, and has recently begun offering data analytics tools and services to other hospitals that are looking to transition from a focus on higher patient volume to more value-based care.
Mercy’s continued status as a Most Wired™ health system can also be attributed to the work of CIO Gil Hoffman, who was recently named one of Becker’s Hospital Review’s 100 Hospital and Health System CIOs to Know.
This year’s Most Wired™ respondents completed 741 surveys, representing nearly 40 percent of all U.S. hospitals. For a full list of winners, click here.