ARMC Recognized by CMS for Meaningful Use of Technology

11/5/2012

Better healthcare takes people, process and technology

The healthcare industry has experienced major changes over the last few years and continues to evolve.  While the changes are numerous and complex, a few key themes stand out:  the increased focus on quality care and the growing role of technology in healthcare delivery.

Providing high quality care to patients in our community has always been a top priority at Athens Regional Medical Center.  This focus has not changed for ARMC.  What has changed is how the hospital uses technology to arm employees and clinicians with the proper tools to help provide the highest quality of evidence-based patient care possible.

An indication of success in this endeavor was Athens Regional’s recognition by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for completing the first of three stages in the process of becoming a meaningful user of technology.  The recognition earned by the hospital demonstrates that employees and medical staff are utilizing Electronic Health Records (EHRs) in an effective way that will help advance patient care.  This is a major milestone and one for which hospitals across the country – rural and urban, acute care and regional referral centers alike – have been challenged by CMS to achieve.

An Ice Cream Sundae Social was recently held at the hospital to recognize the dedication of employees across nearly all clinical and non-clinical departments of the hospital that it took to achieve the Stage I of “Meaningful Use.”

John Workman, Athens Regional CEO, spoke to employees during the event.  “I am proud of the way you have risen to the challenges of our evolving industry landscape.  The changes we’ve been able to make will be of great benefit to our community.”  Workman also gave special recognition to Steven Allmon, RN, Clinical Informaticist.  “Steven provided the leadership, guidance and patience necessary to help his teammates through the many process changes that have been implemented.  We have made major changes in how patients are registered when they arrive at the hospital, how we document the care provided, and how we measure patient care results.  Steven has really made this happen for us.”

The process of completing the final two stages of Meaningful Use will occur over the next few years.  The outcome of achieving Meaningful Use is that Athens Regional will be able to collect and share information and critical data that can be utilized on the spot by medical staff to inform patient care decisions and support the delivery of high quality care.  In partnership with the physicians in our community, who are also working to demonstrate their meaningful use of technology, Athens Regional will be able to ensure smooth transitions of care between local providers.

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