Maturity Models

Improving Patient Satisfaction Through Inclusive Communications

To facilitate improved outcomes in any organization, strong communication is absolutely essential. In a healthcare setting, the importance of communication is so crucial, lives depend on it.

Modern digital health innovations like the HIMSS Analytics Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM)℠ have assisted in streamlining communications for providers and patients alike.

Hurley Medical Center serves patients in Genesee County, Michigan, where a large percentage of the population communicates via American Sign Language (ASL). Many of these patients are from the Michigan School for the Deaf and receive regular medical care at Hurley Medical Center.

In 2013, the organization identified opportunities to leverage their health IT systems in order to improve communications, outcomes and patient satisfaction with the ASL-speaking community. Part of their inclusive patient communication strategy included developing an interpreter services program integrated with their electronic medical record (EMR) system.

Utilizing a patient’s EMR, staff documents the patient’s preferred language, as well as their preferred language for medical information. Through the EMR, interpreter services becomes immediately aware of a patient’s needs and are better equipped to monitor those needs moving forward.

Since the inception of the program, there have been no complaints from patients communicating via ASL. In addition, Hurley has hired two full-time ASL interpreters and annual visits for this specific patient population have increased by 35 percent.

HIMSS Analytics Stage 7 Validation

HIMSS Analytics is proud to recognize Hurley Medical Center for their recent validation as a Stage 7 healthcare system, as tracked by the EMRAM℠.

“This is a validation of the high-tech, innovative work that we’ve done to better serve our community,” said Dr. Michael Roebuck, chief medical information officer at Hurley Medical Center. “We dedicate ourselves to implementing new technologies to get mission critical data in front of our clinicians to improve patient safety and outcomes. Our IT team tunes and refines our applications and our clinicians are dedicated to using the technology at their fingertips to its maximum potential."

“Melany Gavulic, CEO of Hurley Medical Center, provided an overview of Hurley’s strategic plan and stated, ‘We have access to so much data.’ This comment perfectly describes a Stage 7 organization and its use of data to improve patient outcomes,” said Philip Bradley, regional director, HIMSS Analytics North America.

About Hurley Medical Center

Hurley Medical Center is a 443-bed premier public teaching hospital located in the heart of Genesee County, Michigan. As the region’s only Level I Trauma Center, Level II Pediatric Trauma Center, Burn Center, and the highest level neonatal intensive care unit in Genesee County, Hurley is a recognized leader in clinical care and education, maintaining affiliations with Michigan State University, the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, the University of Michigan-Flint, Children’s Hospital of Michigan DMC, Mott Community College and Henry Ford Health System. Founded in 1908, Hurley provides patient care for more than 100,000 people annually.

About HIMSS Analytics

HIMSS Analytics is a global healthcare technology market intelligence, research and standards organization assisting clientele in both healthcare delivery and healthcare technology solutions business development to make lasting improvements in efficiency and performance. 

Learn More

Learn more about how to empower your organization with the HIMSS Analytics EMRAM.

Contact Kyle Munderville for more information on the healthcare provider maturity models and Stage 7 award.


Updated August 13, 2018

Published on