Health system’s providers achieve stage-two of Meaningful Use incentives and certifications
Kirkland, Wash. –EvergreenHealth is pleased to announce its success in exceeding national standards for the way its providers use electronic health record (EHR) technology to improve quality, safety, efficiency, and reduce health disparities. The Kirkland-based health care system recently reached stage two in a three-stage program, known as Meaningful Use (MU), designed by the federal government to help health care providers achieve better clinical outcomes through effective use of EHR technology.
Among the EvergreenHealth providers who participate in Meaningful Use, more than 98 percent met the certified criteria for reaching stage-two. Comparatively, according to an April survey published in the American Journal of Managed Care, 62 percent of office-based physicians use an EHR system, and just under half are certified to meet Meaningful Use criteria.
“While participation in these programs is critical to keeping pace with our industry’s evolution, it is equally a reflection of our patient-centered commitment to providing the safest, highest-quality care as a trusted health care provider,” said EvergreenHealth CEO Bob Malte. “Thanks to the forward-thinking efforts of IT and clinical care leaders, we are setting the groundwork for palpable growth in the way we use EHR technology to serve patients and implement systems that achieve the best results.”
Today, EHR systems play a key role in how physicians evaluate, treat and engage with their patients. The MU program is designed to ensure those systems create better clinical outcomes and increased transparency to empower patients to take charge of their health, while also ensuring better visibility into efficiency levels for providers.
EvergreenHealth’s provider Meaningful Use completion rate and success in this program allows the health system to obtain additional incentives from the federal Medicare program and avoid costly penalties.
In 2016, EvergreenHealth gained nearly $1.4 million in health care IT incentives by meeting stage-two MU standards. Since the MU program launched in 2011, incentives have added an additional $10.5 million to the health care system’s IT budget.
The MU program incents the use of EHR technology to improve quality, safety and efficiency, and reduce health disparities. It also encourages providers to use EHR technology to engage patients and their families, facilitate better security of patient information and improve overall care coordination and the community health.
To avoid penalties, health care systems must meet objectives that evolve in three stages over five years. The third and final stage, rolling out in 2016, will focus on advanced use of certified EHR technology to support health information exchange and interoperability, advanced quality measurement and maximizing clinical effectiveness and efficiencies.
For more information, resources and guidelines on the MU program, visit the dedicated section on the HealthIT.gov website.
To learn more about EvergreenHealth, visit www.evergreenhealth.com.
EvergreenHealth is an integrated health care system that serves nearly one million residents in King and Snohomish counties and offers a breadth of services and programs that is among the most comprehensive in the region. More than 1,000 physicians provide clinical excellence in over 80 specialties, including heart and vascular care, oncology, surgical care, orthopedics, neurosciences, women’s and children’s services, pulmonary care and home care and hospice services. Formed as a public hospital district in 1972, EvergreenHealth includes a 318-bed acute care medical center in Kirkland, a network of 10 primary care practices, two urgent care centers, over two dozen specialty care practices and 24/7 emergency care at its Kirkland, Monroe, and Redmond campuses. In 2015, the system expanded to include EvergreenHealth Monroe – an accredited, full-service 74-bed public hospital district, established in 1960 in Monroe, Washington. EvergreenHealth has clinical and strategic partnerships with several health care entities, including Virginia Mason, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and dozens of independent practices that are part of the clinically integrated EvergreenHealth Partners network and the Puget Sound High Value Network. In addition to clinical care, EvergreenHealth offers extensive community health outreach and education programs, anchored by the 24/7 EvergreenHealth Nurse Navigator & Healthline.
In 2016, EvergreenHealth achieved its seventh designation (2009-2012, and 2014-2016) as a Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence from Healthgrades®, placing it among the top 5 percent of hospitals nationwide, based on its outstanding clinical performance; and was named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals® by Truven Health Analytics™ in the “Large Community Hospitals” category for outstanding achievements in patient care, operational efficiency and financial strength.
For more information, visit www.evergreenhealth.com.
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