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Unity Health Receives Stage 6 Recognition from Health Information Management Systems Society

Hospital news | Monday, April 8, 2019

As of July 2017, there are 1,786, 33 percent, of the more than 5,400 U.S. hospitals tracked by HIMSS Analytics, have achieved Stage 6. HIMSS Analytics announced Unity Health has achieved Stage 6 on the EMR Adoption ModelSM (EMRAM). This recognition includes the main Unity Health — White County Medical Center campus in Searcy, Ark., and the Unity Health — Harris Medical Center campus in Newport, Ark. Health Information Management Systems Society Analytics developed the EMR Adoption Model in 2005 as a methodology for evaluating the progress and impact of electronic medical record systems for hospitals in the HIMSS Analytics® LOGIC™. Tracking their progress in completing eight stages (0-7), hospitals can review the implementation and utilization of information technology applications with the intent of reaching Stage 7, which represents an advanced electronic patient record environment.

Stage 6 hospitals such as Unity Health,

  • Have made significant executive commitments and investments to reach this stage.
  • Appear to have a significant advantage over competitors for patient safety, clinician support, clinician recruitment, and competitive marketing for both consumers and nurse recruitment.
  • Have almost fully automated/paperless medical records when they have implemented their IT applications across most of the inpatient care settings.
  • Are starting to either evaluate their data for care delivery process improvements or have already documented significant improvements in this area.
  • Have made investments that are within reach of most hospitals and recognize the strategic value of improving patient care with the EMR.
  • Have begun to create strategic alignments with their medical staff to effectively utilize information technology to improve the patient safety environment
  • Are well positioned to provide data to key stakeholders, such as payers, the government, physicians, consumers, and employers, to support electronic health record environments and health information exchanges.

Stage 6 hospitals also 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.
Through years of growth and development, Unity Health was previously recognized as a Stage 4 hospital and through an entire recent update and utilizing distinct systems within the organization; Unity Health underwent a validation process to achieve Stage 6.
Within the last year, a goal for the Unity Health IT Department has been to integrate the main hospital information system, with a Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS). This integration allows caregivers to access patient information that creates a profile to view images and information during treatment. The following areas of the EMR have contributed to the process of achieving Stage 6 recognition:

  1. Medication reconciliation determines patients medications used outside of the hospital and helps to avoid drug interactions prescribed within the hospital setting and when returning home.
  2. Medication administration uses a barcoding system to ensure the right prescriptions are distributed to patients properly.
  3. Documentation from providers and nursing staff is a critical piece of the process for the system to function successfully by recording patient information.
  4. Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) allows providers to order testing, therapy or medication for a patient and by doing so electronically, the system deciphers the history of patient orders and their progress.

"To reach Stage 6 at Unity Health has been a major accomplishment," Unity Health Assistant Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Phil Miller said, "We are excited to be recognized for this honor. It is nice to be measured against a set of criteria and know you have met it and are on the right path. We are able to strive for the fullest integration of systems. This has been a long-term project for us, we have steadily concentrated on these efforts since 2008 and it is fulfilling to reach this stage. We have sought to incorporate as much electronic record keeping as possible. Through achieving this status, we have also received the criteria to reach Stage 7. Our goal now is to adopt systems that are more efficient for caregivers; we want to use technology to improve the lives of our patients through efficiency and effectiveness."

"HIMSS Analytics congratulates Unity Health for making significant progress towards achieving advanced health IT adoption," said John H. Daniels, CNM, FACHE, FHIMSS, CPHIMS, Global Vice President, HIMSS Analytics. "Stage 6 represents a level of sophistication that can lead to innovative healthcare transformation."
About HIMSS Analytics

HIMSS Analytics is a global healthcare advisor, providing guidance and market intelligence solutions that move the industry forward with insight to enable better health through the use of IT. As a trusted healthcare research and advisory firm, the industry depends on HIMSS Analytics' resources, benchmarks, predictive models and assessment tools to improve decision making regarding their IT strategic roadmap and market strategy. HIMSS Analytics is uniquely positioned and differentiated through its industry focused offerings which include its Healthcare IT market intelligence tool, Healthcare IT insights and Healthcare IT benchmarks and services. The LOGIC market intelligence tool has the largest technology data set with unmatched breadth and depth needed for guiding healthcare IT strategies. HIMSS Analytics research and advisory consultants uncover unique insights on how to optimally use IT to tackle today's healthcare challenges faced by both healthcare delivery organizations and IT companies. Its EMR Adoption Model (EMRAM) provides a strategic roadmap and guidance along an 8-stage model with comparisons to healthcare organizations in the same country and around the world. HIMSS Analytics, a wholly owned subsidiary of HIMSS, is the healthcare research and advisory firm for healthcare delivery organizations, IT companies, governmental entities, and financial, pharmaceutical, consulting and emerging technology solution partners worldwide. Visit for more information.