Texas Health Resources Uses Health IT to Improve Patient Care in the Emergency Department

CHICAGO (August 31, 2016) – While healthcare delivery organizations are constantly advancing and improving patient care, providers still face many challenges on a daily basis. All organizations are working toward providing excellent patient care; however, some organizations are using health IT to optimize the treatment patients receive. In recognition of successful implementation of health IT to better health and patient care, 14 Texas Health Resources (Texas Health) locations have been revalidated at EMRAM Stage 7.

HIMSS Analytics developed the EMR Adoption Model in 2005 as a methodology for evaluating the progress and impact of electronic medical record systems for hospitals in the HIMSS Analytics® Logic™ platform.

“Texas Health has made great progress over the past three years.  They have successfully implemented smart pumps across all 14 hospitals, they use advanced analytics to convert acuity and census data into optimized nurse staffing levels, and have placed emergency department tracking monitors in the lab that help optimize lab operations and staffing. All of these initiatives are made possible through Texas Health’s innovative use of their IT investments,” said John H. Daniels, CNM, FACHE, FHIMSS, CPHIMS, global vice president, healthcare advisory services group, HIMSS Analytics.

According to Joey Sudomir, Texas Health’s senior vice president and chief information officer, the progressive journey began more than 10 years ago with the implementation of EHR at Texas Health.

“We take great pride in our ability to effectively insert the EHR into clinical activity as a way to enhance our clinicians’ ability to deliver quality patient care, rather than impede it. Knowing our hospitals are designated as Stage 7 facilities is an accomplishment we don’t take lightly – it demonstrates our sincere commitment to promote patient safety. We continue to embrace technology, and our revalidation is a perfect example of this.”

Improving health and patient care with IT:  At Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Hurst-Euless-Bedford (Texas Health H-E-B), a hospital employee suggested an innovative process to enhance communications between lab and Emergency Department (ED) staff:  use the ED’s tracking monitor in the lab area to help prioritize testing.

Originally, the monitor provided a common source of information between nursing staff and lab technicians. With input from ED, medical, clinical, and IT staff members, the hospital installed a tracking board in the lab’s receiving and processing area. The tracker board:

  • added efficiency for both lab techs and nurses by reducing the number of phone calls between the two groups, and
  •  allowed staff to keep patients well-informed.

Lab techs identified additional benefit of the tracking board. Blood bank staff can anticipate potential transfusion needs, since the diagnosis is displayed on the board.

Along with this best practice, the tracking board:

  • assists core techs with identifying samples not received, and
  • reduces delays in lab tests.

By placing the tracking board in a strategic location, employee and patient satisfaction improved, with a nominal cost for Texas Health.

“We find real value in the power of our EHR to improve patient care and quality, through efficiencies in process including:  medical device integration; barcode scanning of medications and specimens; clinical decision support rules and alerts; and access to information through robust dashboards. Our Stage 7 revalidation demonstrates our continuous performance improvement activities, as we strive to find additional ways to use technology to support patient safety and clinical outcomes,” said Raymond Kelly, chief nursing officer for Texas Health H-E-B.

Texas Health will be recognized at the 2017  HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition on Feb. 19-23, 2017, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.

Visit the HIMSS Analytics website for more information on the Stage 7 Award.  

Learn more about HIMSS Analytics.

Learn more about HIMSS North America.

HIMSS; Stage 7 Award; EHR
Media Contact: 
Kelly Wagner
(312) 915-9502