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University of Iowa News Release


May 24, 2010

UI leading transition to electronic medical records

Leaders of University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics announced today that Iowa's only comprehensive academic medical center now stands among the most advanced health care facilities in the nation in achieving the goal of installing an electronic medical records (EMR) system.

UI Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City recently joined an elite group of hospitals across the country to earn the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Stage 6 certification for successfully developing EMR capabilities in the transition to paperless patient records and participation in an electronic health record (EHR) system.

HIMSS Analytics, a Chicago-based independent source on EMR adoption trends, devised its EMR Adoption Model to track progress at hospitals and health systems. The EMR Adoption Model scores hospitals in the HIMSS Analytics database on their progress through seven stages to create a paperless patient record system. At the beginning of 2010, only 1.6 percent of the more than 5,000 hospitals in the HIMSS database had reached Stage 6 certification.

carmen"What we have accomplished to date is very difficult, as evidenced by the small number of institutions that have achieved this level," said Lee Carmen, associate vice president for information systems with UI Health Care. "We are well-positioned to meet the new emerging requirements from the federal government regarding electronic medical record adoption."

HIMSS Analytics says that hospitals and clinics must reach Stage 6 or higher by 2015 to avoid Medicaid or Medicare penalties.

kates"We are committed to moving forward to the seventh and final stage of our transition to an electronic medical record," said Kenneth Kates, associate vice president and CEO, UI Hospitals and Clinics. "This process will enhance the quality of the care we provide to our patients, increase their safety and even benefit the environment by reducing our consumption of paper."

In Stage 7 EMR, clinical information can be readily shared with all providers who are authorized to treat a patient. UI Hospitals and Clinics is using the Epic system to meet the goal of paperless medical records for patients.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Care Media Relations, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room E110 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945,