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Takoma Achieves Elite 'Stage 6' Designation For EMR Implementation

Takoma Regional Hospital has achieved an elite “Stage 6” designation for excellence in implementing electronic medical record technology that has been shown to increase patient safety.

Takoma is one of only three hospitals in Tennessee to achieve this important status, according to Tammy Albright, chief nursing officer. The other Tennessee hospitals are Vanderbilt University Hospital and Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital, both in Nashville.

Takoma joins 333 hospitals nationally – or only 6.2 percent of the country’s 5,300 hospitals – that have achieved this designation.

“This is a significant milestone and is a testament to the dedication of Takoma’s staff to be on the forefront of quality, technology and patient safety initiatives,” Albright said.

Stage 6 status is obtained through the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics’ EMR Adoption Model, which was developed as a methodology for evaluating the progress and impact of electronic medical records systems using their database.

Achieving Stage 6 means that Takoma is almost fully paperless with electronic physician documentation, full clinical decision support and full picture archiving and communications systems available, Albright said.

Takoma will be recognized for this achievement at the annual HIMSS conference on March 4-7 in New Orleans.

“It will be a great honor to be recognized among some of the top leaders in health information management technology,” Albright said.

Takoma has been a regional leader in adopting health information technology – implementing a fully integrated electronic medical record in 2007.  

 An electronic health record system has been proven to improve patient safety, speed care and provide patients with easier access to their healthcare information.

Takoma also became the first private hospital in East Tennessee to launch Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE) in 2009. With CPOE, physicians enter their orders directly into a computer instead of hand writing them onto a piece of paper. CPOE alone has been shown to reduce medication errors by more than 80 percent.

Takoma was also the first hospital in East Tennessee to receive partial federal reimbursement for achieving “Meaningful Use.” A check for $1.3 million was presented to the hospital during a special recognition ceremony in January.

The next – and final -- goal is to reach “Stage Seven,” which means that the hospital is working without any paper charts to deliver or manage patient care; clinical data is used for quality improvement and patient safety; and clinical information can be readily shared throughout standardized electronic transitions.