All four Parkville Precinct hospitals in Melbourne have been validated for Stages 6 and 7 on the HIMSS Electronic Medical Record Adoption and Outpatient Electronic Medical Record Adoption Models, with the Royal Children’s Hospital attaining the highest accreditation for the latter.
The Royal Women’s Hospital (RWH), The Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH), and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre (PeterMac) underwent their first HIMSS maturity model assessments while RCH became the first hospital to be revalidated after its first assessment in 2017.
WHY IT MATTERS
The hospitals did the assessments virtually in the first year of the pandemic due to travel restrictions. They were assessed for their use of the Epic EMR – implementations in RWH, RMH, and PeterMac also happened during the pandemic. The RCH first adopted the system in 2016.
As the pandemic delayed the EMR go-live for the three hospitals, most of their EMR training for staff were done remotely and online while they also used a virtual method of “at the elbow” support for their go-live.
During the validations, the Parkville Precinct hospitals highlighted several EMR gains, including the improvements in their care documentation and discharge planning and the decrease in in-hospital mortality. The hospitals also adopted COVID-19 dashboards to support clinical care and operations during the pandemic, as well as new EMR workflows which assisted clinicians in their remote telehealth consultations.
“The result reflects the precinct’s commitment to digital excellence and improved outcomes for patients for each hospital whilst leveraging the shared infrastructure and experience from RCH and Epic. The EMR go-live for three hospitals was done during COVID-19 as were the validations, and success therefore necessarily required preparation and teamwork. This was achieved as good as any provider and health system we’ve seen in the region,” HIMSS VP for Analytics and Global Advisory Lead Andrew Pearce noted.
THE LARGER TREND
The Melbourne-based hospitals were among the eight Asia-Pacific providers who completed their EMRAM assessments in the month of April. The other four hospitals were Tungs’ Taichung MetroHarbor Hospital in Taiwan and the three hospitals under the Pondok Indah Hospital Group in Indonesia.
Early in the year, the Dar Al Shifa Hospital in Kuwait received both Stage 6 awards for EMRAM and O-EMRAM.
ON THE RECORD
There were four reasons why the Parkville Precinct hospitals proceeded with the validations, according to Dr Mike South, chief medical information officer of RCH.
First, they were keen to have a benchmarked assessment of their digital maturity. The hospitals also used the assessments to drive improvements to achieve higher stages and be led to opportunities for future improvements. They have been meaning as well to learn from HIMSS about the best practices of other providers. And lastly, their certifications would demonstrate to their funders and other key stakeholders that their investments in digital technologies were “well justified”.
“Naturally we were very pleased to achieve the Stage 6 and 7 validations we were seeking. The HIMSS maturity assessments were a lot of work and were particularly challenging as we were doing this concurrently for four separate hospitals with two assessments each. There were eight assessments in total with the challenges of doing these all virtually due to COVID-19 travel restrictions,” Dr South noted.