Ohio hospital recognized for its use of electronic health records

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Based on the results of a recent Anoto survey of healthcare professionals, 80 percent reported they are still using paper health records, despite the fact that they already have an electronic health record (EHR) system in place.

Licking Memorial Hospital in Newark, Ohio, is one facility that does not have this problem. Not only has the hospital embraced EHRs, it has also been recognized for its efforts to reduce the number of physical charts and records it uses, The Newark Advocate reported.

Earlier this month, the nonprofit organization HIMSS Analytics, a subsidiary of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, recognized Licking after conducting a survey to assess the hospital’s healthcare IT systems. Using this information, the organization assigns a ranking between zero – the complete lack of any EHRs – and seven – no paper records in use. Licking, along with 5,330 other hospitals, earned a stage six ranking.

“For a community hospital, it is definitely a note-worthy accomplishment,” Rob Montagnese, Licking’s president and chief executive officer, told the news source. “We’ve always had that culture of really pushing the technology.”

While no Ohio hospitals received a stage seven ranking, several other facilities earned stage six, including Genesis-Bethesda Hospital and the University Hospital at the Ohio State University Medical Center.

Many hospitals have only taken an interest in medical informatics in recent years, but for officials at Licking, it has been something on their minds since the mid-1980s, when they first adopted EHRs, according to the news outlet. Within the past five years, the hospital has been focused on using this technology in clinical settings. This allows staff to share patient data with one another in a faster, more convenient manner.