NEWS | December 13, 2012

UC Davis Medical Center recognized for electronic medical records achievements


HIMSS Analytics, the research arm of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), has recognized UC Davis Medical Center with its Stage 7 Award. The award represents attainment of the highest level on the HIMSS Electronic Medical Records Adoption Model, which is used to track EMR progress at hospitals and health systems around the nation and world. Stage 7 places the medical center in the top 1.8 percent of hospitals nationwide in terms of EMR use and represents an independent assessment of how well UC Davis has leveraged its clinical technology.

Stage 7 award logo

“There are more than 5,300 hospitals around the country, and many more internationally, that are working to integrate varying levels of EMR systems and associated clinical technologies,” said Mike Minear, chief information officer for UC Davis Health System. “For UC Davis to be in the top 1.8 percent is amazing. It’s not possible to reach the Stage 7  level of EMR adoption without all of our clinicians  and supporting teams working together, and effectively using advanced technology to help deliver the best in patient care.” 

HIMSS Analytics developed its EMR Adoption Model as a way of evaluating the progress and effectiveness of electronic medical record systems for hospitals. The 8 stages (0 through 7) measure a hospital’s implementation and utilization of information-technology applications to support clinical care. Stage 7represents an advanced patient-record environment, and to validate it requires a site visit by HIMSS officials, which took place in earlier this month.

“Stage 7 involves 139 discrete requirements that must be achieved prior to a site visit,” said Minear. “The requirements for the EMR Adoption Model are not things done to simply win an award; these requirements are the most complete definition found anywhere to define how to effectively utilize modern information technology to support clinical care, and the clinicians delivering care.”  

The HIMSS Analytics site visit team included two executives from HIMSS, John Hoyt and John Daniels, both with extensive experience as chief information officers and other technology support roles. The team also included a volunteer reviewer, Paul Silka, who is the CMIO of Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles and is an emergency physician. The HIMSS on-site review was a full day and included stops at the East 5 surgical unit, the emergency department, Health Information Management (HIM) department, radiology, the cardiothoracic intensive care unit and pharmacy. In each case, the surveyors spoke with nurses, pharmacists, physicians and other support staff, and asked in-depth questions about clinical workflows, clinician interaction, documentation and various EMR policies.

United States EMR Adoption Model

“UC Davis Medical Center operates in a paperless environment with any paper in use, such as code-blue documentation, scanned into the EMR within 30 minutes. In fact, the hospital deploys roaming scanning teams, going from unit to unit to verify that scanning is fast and accurate,” said Hoyt, executive vice president of HIMSS Analytics in a press release.

Hoyt noted that the medical center relies on a team approach for IT governance, with nurse and physician champions actively involved in the process.

“This data-driven culture at UC Davis Medical Center is focused on education throughout the organization” added Hoyt, who also pointed favorably to the medical center’s use of secondary data for clinical and business intelligence and research; its recognition and review of the impact of ICD-10 (the World Health Organization’s medical classification list for signs, symptoms and external causes of injury or diseases) on the electronic health record; and UC Davis’ use of  telemedicine, health information exchange and other technologies to connect patients or patient information with specialists.

“This award is an independent assessment of how information technology (IT) has been deployed in UC Davis Medical Center to support clinicians and patient care,” said Minear. “This level of EMR adoption can only be achieved if all elements of the organization work closely together and deliver excellence in the use of IT. This honor ultimately reflects our entire organization, one that focuses on better serving our patients. The Stage 7 award is a wonderful tribute to UC Davis’ commitment to quality care and the improvement of clinical processes for the benefit of every patient.”

UC Davis Medical Center is the 102nd hospital to be recognized with the Stage 7 award. It will be honored for the achievement at the 2013 Annual HIMSS Conference & Exhibition in New Orleans next March. 

UC Davis Medical Center is a comprehensive academic medical center where clinical practice, teaching and research converge to advance human health. Centers of excellence include the National Cancer Institute-designated UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center; the region's only Level 1 pediatric and adult trauma centers; the UC Davis MIND Institute, devoted to finding treatments and cures for neurodevelopmental disorders; and the UC Davis Children's Hospital. The medical center serves a 33-county, 65,000-square-mile area that stretches north to the Oregon border and east to Nevada. It further extends its reach through the award-winning telemedicine program, which gives remote, medically underserved communities throughout California unprecedented access to specialty and subspecialty care. For more information, visit