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St. Luke’s Earns Highest Recognition for Electronic Medical Records
June 08, 2017

HIMSS Analytics has honored St. Luke’s University Health Network with its Stage 7 designation, the highest recognition for electronic medical record adoption, the network was informed Wednesday.

St. Luke’s is the first network in Lehigh Valley to earn the prestigious designation at all of its hospitals, including the St. Luke’s Warren Campus, which is the first hospital in New Jersey to achieve Stage 7.

HIMSS Analytics, a subsidiary of the Health Information Management Systems Society, is a healthcare research and advisory firm for healthcare organizations and governments worldwide.

Following a rigorous review process, HIMSS Analytics grades hospitals on their application of electronic medical records. The Stage 7 designation recognizes St. Luke’s extensive and creative use of electronic medical records to establish better service and higher quality care at lower costs. Less than 5 percent of U.S. hospitals have reached Stage 7, which is the highest stage on HIMSS Analytics’ scale.

“HIMSS Analytics Stage 7 is the highest honor in health care information technology,” St. Luke’s Vice President and Chief Information Officer Chad Brisendine said. “When patients shop for health care, they should look for Stage 7 providers. Stage 7 means patients will get the best results that the latest and greatest in electronic medical records makes possible.”

For example, a patient who enters a St. Luke’s hospital may notice it is a paperless operation. If the patient has been to a St. Luke’s facility previously, the patient’s electronic medical record offers up-to-date information on prior history, including prescriptions, reducing the risk of contraindications. If the patient is new to St. Luke’s, the patient’s electronic medical record can be imported from other hospitals that use the same system (EPIC). After discharge, St. Luke’s can track the patient’s results along with the results of others with similar heath issues, allowing the network to evaluate its performance and refine its approach over time.

Already, St. Luke’s has seen additional gains in various quality measurements, such as improvements in blood transfusions and catheterizations.

“This certification reflects the deep commitment of St. Luke’s physicians, nurses and clinical staff to using the full extent of the electronic medical record to improve patient care,” said Dr. James Balshi, St. Luke’s chief medical information officer.

With this HIMSS Analytics designation, St. Luke’s University Health Network represents approximately half of the dozen hospitals in Pennsylvania to achieve Stage 7. St. Luke’s also is the only network in the Lehigh Valley to win the coveted Truven 100 Top Major Teaching Hospitals award three times running and five times total.

“This is truly a differentiator for us,” Brisendine said of Stage 7. “It creates a distinct competitive advantage for our organization moving forward.”

Media Contact

Sam Kennedy, Corporate Communications Director, 484-526-4134, samuel.kennedy@sluhn.org

About St. Luke’s

Founded in 1872, St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) is a non-profit, regional, fully integrated and nationally recognized network providing services at seven hospitals and more than 270 outpatient sites. The network’s service area includes Lehigh, Northampton, Carbon, Schuylkill, Bucks, Montgomery, Berks and Monroe counties in Pennsylvania and in Warren County in New Jersey. Dedicated to advancing health education, St. Luke’s operates the nation’s oldest School of Nursing and 22 graduate medical educational programs and is considered a major teaching hospital, the only one in the region. In partnership with Temple University, St. Luke’s created the region’s first Medical School. Repeatedly, including 2017, St. Luke’s has earned Truven’s 100 Top Major Teaching Hospital designation as well as 50 Top Cardiovascular program in addition to other honors for clinical excellence. St. Luke’s is a multi-year recipient of the Most Wired award recognizing the breadth of St. Luke’s information technology applications such as electronic medical records, telehealth, online scheduling and pricing information. St. Luke’s is also recognized as one of the state’s lowest cost providers in comparison to major teaching hospitals and other health systems.