Newswise — MAYWOOD, IL – Loyola Medicine has reached an advanced stage in the implementation of outpatient electronic medical records, according to HIMSS Analytics.

HIMSS Analytics, a respected healthcare advisor in information technology, divides the implementation and use of electronic medical records (EMRs) into eight stages, from 0 to 7. Loyola Medicine, which includes Loyola University Medical Center, Gottlieb Memorial Hospital and a large ambulatory network located in three counties throughout Chicagoland, has reached Stage 6 in HIMSS Analytics’ EMR adoption ModelSM.

“Loyola was an early adopter of electronic health record technology and we have invested a great deal in optimizing its use across the ambulatory environment,” said Joshua Lee, MD, Loyola’s vice president and chief health information officer.

Loyola was among the earliest health systems to adopt EMRs, which have been shown to improve quality of care. EMRs enable health systems to, for example, identify patients who are due for preventive visits and screenings and monitor how well patients are keeping up with vaccinations, blood pressure readings, etc.

“We continually seek ways to improve our electronic medical records for the benefit of our patients, who are at the center of everything we do. Along the way we are also enhancing the experience of our valued colleagues who deliver excellent care every day,” said Jessica Cronin, RN, regional chief information officer.

HIMSS said health systems such as Loyola that have reached Stage 6 in the EMR Adoption Model:

Have made significant executive commitments and investments to reach this stageAppear to have a significant advantage over competitors for patient safety, clinician support, clinician recruitment and competitive marketing for both consumers and nurse recruitment

Have almost fully automated/paperless medical records when they have implemented IT applications across most of the outpatient care settings

Are either starting to evaluate data for care delivery process improvements or have already documented significant improvements in this area

Have made investments that are within reach of most clinics and recognize the strategic value of improving patient care with the EMR

Have begun to create strategic alignments with their medical staff to effectively utilize information technology to improve patient engagement and population healthAre well positioned to provide data to key stakeholders, such as payers, the government, physicians, consumers and employers, to support electronic health record environments and health information exchanges

“HIMSS Analytics congratulates Loyola Medicine for making significant progress towards achieving advanced health IT adoption,” said John Daniels, global vice president of HIMSS Analytics. “Stage 6 represents a level of sophistication that can lead to innovative healthcare transformation.”