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Electronic health records

BC hospital first in Canada to reach HIMSS Stage 6

OLIVER, B.C. – South Okanagan General Hospital is the first Canadian site to achieve Stage 6 of the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) adoption program from HIMSS Analytics. South Okanagan, based in Oliver, B.C., is part of the Interior Health Authority, which serves a geographical area of almost 215,000 square kilometres and comprises 180 sites, including 22 acute care hospitals.

In 2005, the Chicago-based Healthcare Information Management and Systems Society (HIMSS) developed a seven-level hierarchy for the adoption of electronic health records. Relatively few hospitals have reached the top tiers, at the sixth and seventh levels.

“This distinction is a real honour for Interior Health,” said Mal Griffin (pictured), CIO at Interior, which is headquartered in Kelowna. “We’re very appreciative of HIMSS Analytics for extending its efforts into Canada.”

Griffin credits South Okanagan’s dedicated team with bringing Stage 6 to fruition. “We are very fortunate to have the support of our administration, physicians, and all our staff members at South Okanagan,” he says. “I’m very proud of what we have accomplished.”

South Okanagan is a long-time user of Meditech software and solutions.

“Achieving Stage 6 is a huge accomplishment and one that has resulted from having a great team in place,” said Josie Wilson, clinical practice specialist. “It has been challenging being the only Canadian hospital at this stage of the process, because we’ve had to forge new ground. But now we feel we are at a great advantage.”

Achieving HIMSS Stage 6 is only one of many accomplishments at Interior, and South Okanagan in particular. In 2006, South Okanagan won a prestigious Organizational Transformation Health Award for successfully implementing Meditech’s CPOE to support both quality and patient safety.

In 2005, Interior Health consolidated multiple data centers and systems into a single Meditech Magic platform. This set the stage for the health authority to plan strategically for Meditech’s 6.0 system.

Focusing on standardization and business process re-engineering to incorporate best practice solutions, Interior was also one of Meditech’s first Canadian customers to sign for 6.0, with an anticipated go-live date of 2011. “We believe 6.0 will help us reach the next level of care delivery,” said Griffin. “We are particularly excited about the new user interface, enhanced role-based desktops, and the overall combined infrastructure and application changes available within the new platform.”

Griffin’s enthusiasm is matched by that of Meditech’s President and COO, Howard Messing. “We are very proud to be in partnership with Interior, as the health authority continues on its journey to enhance clinical decision-making and quality of care for its citizens,” he said.

Posted July 30/09.