The electronic medical record is no longer a novel concept in the health care field. With the majority of organizations using some sort of electronic medical record, most in in the industry are grappling with the next important question: How can such a system optimize quality and safety, while also improving the experience of patients, physicians, and staff?
Balazs Zsenits, M.D., chief medical information officer and senior vice president of Rochester Regional Health, is leading an effort to answer these questions. In the process, he has helped the health care organization become a national leader in optimizing the use of electronic medical records.
To maximize this more modern means of keeping patient records, Rochester Regional Health used the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society electronic Medical Record Adoption Model as a roadmap. The extensive, eight-stage adoption model measures an organization’s transition from paper charts to full electronic medical record integration that both improved the quality of care and organizational efficiency.
The true purpose of an electronic medical record is to harness the technology to optimize care in a way that enhances quality of care and makes life easier for physicians and staff, all while improving the experience for patients. That is a goal that most hospitals are still striving to meet. In fact, only 6 percent of hospitals in the nation have achieved the model’s highest level. That includes just 11 of the 195 hospitals in New York.
As a recently merged health system, Rochester Regional Health faced the challenge of integrating multiple hospitals, each with their individual process, systems, organizational culture, and electronic medical records platform. To address the latter issue, Zsenits led the medical informatics work that created a common bond among these hospitals. Instead of several hospitals – many of them former competitors – defending their unique way of doing things, everyone was encouraged to build something new together.
Last year, Zsenits established a new team of health informatics experts and led an effort to make four of regional hospitals (Rochester General Hospital, Unity Hospital, Newark-Wayne Community Hospital, and Clifton Springs Hospital and Clinic) among those 11 in New York to achieve the model’s highest level.
“As the electronic medical record evolves, we optimize its use to help our clinicians more easily coordinate work and make care more effective, more efficient and safer than ever before,” Zsenits says. “I’m so proud of the physicians and staff who keep Rochester Regional Health at the forefront of this evolution.”
In 2017, representatives from HCigroup, themselves certified Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society educators, spent four days at Rochester Regional Regional Health to validate its electronic medical records process. They came away impressed.
“With Dr. Zsenits and his team of physician clinical informaticists, innovation and clinical transformation will continue to grow and thrive at Rochester Regional Health, and serve as an exemplar for other health care organizations,” says Madaelene Crow, director of service line delivery.