Happy New Year … and Happy New EMRAM

The HIMSS Analytics Acute Care Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM) – which measures the progress of healthcare provider organizations’ technology adoption on an eight-stage scale – has had only incremental tweaks for the past 15-plus years. As healthcare organizations have made substantial progress under the original model, they now need to reach for more, because it’s about to change.

To be more in step with the progress of technology, HIMSS initially announced its proposed changes at HIMSS2016, provided an update at HIMSS2017, and, when the ball dropped in the Big Apple on January 1, 2018, those changes went into effect.

Focus on patients, not tech

During his presentation, EMRAM Criteria Update, at HIMSS2017, John H. Daniels, GVP, stated the changes reflect the current state of an advanced EMR environment.

“With only minor updates since 2005, it’s time for more significant changes. It’s time to raise the bar globally and focus more on functions accomplished and less on technology itself,” said Daniels, adding that ultimately it’s about how technology is used to improve care quality and patient safety.

Lorna Green, RN, lead, customer advisor and consulting at Hyland, agrees.

“I am a supporter of helping hospitals move to HIMSS Stage 7 because I see value in the EMRAM guidelines,” said Green. “Coordinated care between clinicians is now the standard and not the exception thanks to technology.”

A global standard

With a greater focus on e-health functionality and less on the technology itself, the new EMRAM requirements now seek specific examples. For instance, in Stage 3, health systems are asked to describe how nurses interact with the nursing information system, not if one is in place. Requirements for a picture archiving communication system (PACS) for DICOM and patient-centric storage of Non-DICOM images may now be found in Stage 1, while Stage 2 will collect descriptions of data center security and user security training, encryption and disposal policies as well as antivirus, anti-malware and firewall programs.

Responding to heightened concerns, security is addressed in each of the stages with the new requirements. Another notable addition, EMRAM standards have become universal, with no variation by continent or region. As such, all organizations reaching certain milestones will be operating on the same plane, creating one global standard.

If you love to travel like I do, that’s welcome news. Happy New Year, indeed.

Julie Fogel

Julie Fogel

Julie Fogel joined Hyland in 2011. A member of the content marketing team, this SCUBA-diving, rock-n-rolling, baseball-loving storyteller currently covers healthcare. She also frequently appears in or provides voice talent... read more about: Julie Fogel