Patient Engagement Contributes to Reducing Medication Errors

HIMSS Analytics recognizes Canada’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health as a Stage 7 hospital on its Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM) SM

CHICAGO (July 06, 2017) - Focused on reducing potential medication errors, Canada’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health embarked on an initiative to improve scanning rates during medication administration, as hospital staff scanned patient identification and medications before giving patients their medications. The hospital developed a weekly dashboard to track scanning rates and shared it with inpatient managers, leadership and frontline staff interacting with patients.


Using data from the clinical information system, the dashboard measured various interventions, such as targeted education, competency validation, and resolution of technology challenges and barriers. The CAMH hospital staff also engaged with patients as part of this initiative, resulting in ongoing and increased scanning of patient identification and medication that corresponded with a decrease in potential medical errors. Each month, units at CAMH received certificates of achievement recognizing their efforts to improve patient safety. Most importantly, CAMH achieved its goal of clinical staff scanning patient identification and medications at least 95% of the time in December 2016.


The patient engagement strategy at CAMH included brochures and posters to help patients understand the importance of identification prior to medication administration and offered patients alternate methods of identification (pictured right).


Stage 7: The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health achieved Stage 7 on the HIMSS Analytics Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM) ™. Only 4.8% of US, non-governmental hospitals and 9.9% of outpatient facilities (as of Q4 2016) have reached this designation. The eight-stage (0-7) model measures the adoption and utilization of EMR functions; Stage 7 represents a near paperless environment with technology that supports optimized patient care.


CAMH is Canada's largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital, as well as one of the world's leading research centers in the area of addiction and mental health. CAMH combines clinical care, research, education, policy development and health promotion to help transform the lives of people affected by mental health and addiction issues.


“We take great pride in being a global leader in healthcare information technology,” said CAMH President and CEO Catherine Zahn.“As a hospital that delivers care to patients with highly acute and complex conditions, it is vitally important that all our clinical staff have medical records at their disposal at all times. Better, faster and easier access to information means better patient care.”


“CAMH has adapted their EMR to serve mental health and addiction services and research for its community. They have achieved an incredible enterprise transformation via their EMR with very enthusiastic adoption that has achieved extraordinary levels of CPOE and barcode medication verification,” stated John Daniels, the global vice president of healthcare advisory services group at HIMSS Analytics. “They have demonstrated that their system is producing analytical data to serve complex mental health services. Our congratulations to CAMH for being Canada’s second Stage 7 organization.”


CAMH will be recognized at the 2018 HIMSS Conference & Exhibition on March 5-9, 2018, at the Venetian – Palazzo – Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas.


Visit the HIMSS Analytics website for more information on the EMRAM and other maturity models.


About HIMSS Analytics
HIMSS Analytics is a global healthcare IT 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.



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Kyle Munderville/HIMSS Analytics