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Southeast Missouri's hospitals behind in adopting electronic health records

Posted Thursday, July 26, 2012, at 4:13 PM

A special report from the Missouri Hospital Association revealed Southeast Missouri's hospitals ranked the last in the state when it comes to the number of electronic health record functions being used.

Among the 19 hospitals in Southeast Missouri that participated in the survey, hospitals are using an average of 9.4 out of 24 core electronic health record functions. These functions are divided into four main areas of use: electronic clinical documentation, results viewing, computerized provider order entry and decision support.

The average among Missouri hospitals was 13.4 of the 24 key functions, according to the Missouri Hospital Association report. That's increased from a state average of 8.9 of 24 key functions in 2009. The survey includes data on 152 Missouri hospitals.

Failure to adopt electronic health record systems that meet the 14 key functions will result in penalties for providers, under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act passed in 2009.

"A lot of the hospitals included in the Southeast Missouri quadrant are probably small hospitals and they're a little bit farther behind in many cases, but there are things being done right now to get them moving along. MHA is helping them with that in a lot of ways that larger hospitals may not need help," said David Dillon, spokesman for the Missouri Hospital Association.

Among larger hospitals, higher numbers of electronic medical record key functions were met. Among hospitals with 100 to 249 beds, an average of 14 of the 24 functions were met. Among hospitals over 400 beds, 20 of the 24 functions were met.

In order to help hospitals implement these new systems, Medicare has provided $67 million to 36 Missouri hospitals while Medicaid incentive payments have totaled $46 million. Not all hospitals are eligible for these incentives, however.

Northwest had the highest key function adoption levels with an average of 16.3 of 24 key functions. St. Louis ranked near the middle with 13.7 of 24 key functions.

Click here to access the full report:


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Where does St. Francis rank?

-- Posted by retired1 on Sat, Jul 28, 2012, at 8:00 PM

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Melissa Miller is business editor at The Southeast Missourian. A graduate of the University of Missouri Journalism School, she's worked as a reporter, photographer, editor and as the executive director of two not-for-profit organizations. After living in Michigan and then Indiana, she moved back to her hometown of Jackson, Mo. In addition to writing daily stories for The Southeast Missourian, Melissa coordinates editorial content each month for Business Today. Business Today is a monthly publication for southeast Missouri's business community. Monthly themes include health care, agriculture, women in business, technology and more. Business Today is direct mailed to business owner and managers throughout southeast Missouri and southern Illinois. Follow her updates on local business developments at www.twitter.com/semissourianbiz or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MelissaMillerSoutheastMissourian

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