Texas Children’s receives Stage 6 designation in delivery of patient care

Texas Children’s achieved HIMSS Stage 6 designation which demonstrates the hospital’s implementation of health care information technology to improve quality, safety and efficiency in patient care.

“Our hospital is among only 30 percent of organizations across the nation that have been awarded the Stage 6 designation for inpatient facilities,” said Myra Davis, senior vice president of Information Services. “This is a significant accomplishment as it took nearly nine years for us to achieve this collaborative milestone to optimize the delivery of patient care and safety across the system.”

HIMSS incorporates methodology to score hospitals around the world based on their electronic medical record (EMR) capabilities. Texas Children’s Stage 6 designation is a culmination of nearly a decade of implemented technological solutions and data gathering to advance patient outcomes and further differentiate Texas Children’s from other organizations that provide care for children and women.

A perfect example of this milestone is the implementation and optimization of barcode technology to provide positive patient identification (PPID) prior to administration of medications or breast milk.

“Prior to PPID, clinicians manually verified five key pieces of information to ensure the right patient receives the right treatment, at the right dose via the right route at the right time,” said Patient Care Services and Clinical Informatics Director Jennifer Sanders. “Today this process is conducted electronically and provides a safety net for our patients by reducing the risk for preventable errors.”

Other IS accomplishments that led to Stage 6 designation include:

  • Optimizing clinical workflows has improved the quality of care across the system whether in the emergency center or at a primary care practice. Epic’s electronic mobile application suite allows providers to e-prescribe medications and improves the safe and secure transmission for patient health information among providers.
  • System integrations – Integration of the PACs link in Epic for imaging review and lab results allows the provider a holistic view to determine a more personalized plan of care. A recent system integration that was implemented is MyDining, a new room service feature that offers healthier menu options for patients during their hospital stay.
  • Electronic health record (EHR) enhancements – Examples of enhancing the EHR include decision support in the form of Best Practice Alerts that automatically notify staff of certain conditions such as the risk of septic shock or the need for an influenza immunization.

“The maturity of health information technology is key to advancing outcomes and experience for our patients and providers,” said Julie McGuire, director of Enterprise Systems for Information Services. “We would not be able to achieve this designation without the collaborative support from our dedicated partners.”

Several departments that helped Texas Children’s obtain Stage 6 designation include Clinical Informatics, Information Services, Pharmacy, Respiratory Care, Food and Nutrition Services, Milk Bank, Nursing and the Nursing Professional Development team that helped apply PPID safety protocols.

“Importantly, the goal is to optimize the digital tools that surround the providers so we can radically improve our performance and deliver better care,” said Chief Medical Information Officer Dr. Eric Williams. “We are proud of the Stage 6 designation, but we are more proud of how our digital transformation has improved patient care.”