The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Centers has become the first federal healthcare clinic to receive a HIMSS Stage 7 Award, according to a public announcement Friday. The NIH clinics join a select group of healthcare facilities who have received this award for excellence in EHR adoption. Healthcare facilities qualify as HIMSS Stage 7 by transitioning completely from paper health records to EHRs.
The HIMSS Stage 7 Award signifies that the NIH clinics have reached the highest level of the Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM), a decade-old system for monitoring the effectiveness of EHRs for all HIMSS hospitals. The EMRAM operates on a scale of 0-7, 7 being the highest level. This year, only 3.7 percent of hospitals attained this ranking, proving just how prestigious this award is for NIH.
In order to receive this award, NIH had to go through rigorous examination. “The validation process to confirm a hospital has reached Stage 7 includes a site visit by an executive from HIMSS Analytics and former or current chief information officers to ensure an unbiased evaluation of the State 7 environments,” the organization stated.
According to an NIH press release, the clinic has been using electronic health records since the 1970s, but are being awarded for their most recent accomplishments in electronic health record use. These accomplishments include eradicating the use of all paper healthcare records, using electronic records for research to improve quality of care, and improving interoperability amongst their electronic medical record systems and those at other authorized healthcare centers.
HIMSS evaluated the NIH’s Clinical Research Information System (CRIS), the clinic’s fundamental software used for electronic medical records. Used by over 2,750 clinic staff members, CRIS is used in a variety of settings.
“NIH experts rely on CRIS to manage patient protocol information, write medical orders, retrieve laboratory results, documents progress notes and other aspects of medical care,” NIH says.
HIMSS says it was a clear choice awarding NIH with Stage 7.
“The NIH Clinical Center is a remarkable place doing remarkable things with its EHR for the patients they serve,” said John H. Daniels, CNM, FACHE, FHIMSS, CPHIMS, Global Vice President, Healthcare Advisory Services Group, HIMSS Analytics. “From automatically capturing discrete data on anomalies found in digital imaging to providing pharmacogenomics clinical decisions support to physicians, they are clearly a Stage 7 organization.”
The NIH Clinical Center is the research hospital for the National Institutes for Health. Using clinical research, the NIH clinics aim to improve treatments, which in turn should improve the national health. A branch of the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), NIH is the nation’s primary source for clinical research.