UW Hospital and Clinics Awarded for Innovations in Health Information Management

Madison, Wisconsin - University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics has been nationally recognized for creative approaches in health information management that have benefited both caregivers and patients.


The hospital today was awarded the American Health Information Management Association's (AHIMA) inaugural Grace Award during the group's convention and exhibit in Chicago. Named for founder Grace Whiting Myers, the award honors health care organizations that demonstrate effective and innovative approaches in using health information to deliver high-quality care.


"We're proud of the innovative approach we take to health information and honored to be recognized by AHIMA with this new Grace Award," said Donna Katen-Bahensky, president and CEO of UW Hospital and Clinics. "The ultimate winners here are the patients, medical staff and other providers who are assured that their information is secure, accurate and available when and where they need it."


UW Hospital and Clinics first began documenting lab, radiology and transcribed papers into electronic record format in the 1990s. 


In January 2010, it became the first academic hospital to attain Stage 7, the highest designation recognized by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).   Stage 7 status means hospitals are able to deliver care without the use of paper charts, share patient information securely with other providers of care, and use their vast database of clinical information. 


Jane Duckert, the hospital's director of health information management, says the health information management system has been helpful in notifying care providers when patients are due for tests such as mammograms and colonoscopies. 


"The health maintenance activity allows clinicians to systematically track patients' preventive care procedures and routine tests by consolidating procedure data and displaying it in easily accessible locations," she said. "A reminder flag indicates to the clinician when a patient is near a due date or overdue for a preventive test or procedure. Because this reminder flag is visible to all ambulatory-care providers, it encourages a team approach to patients' preventive screenings. Automated messages are also used within our patient portal to remind patients when it is time to schedule preventive care exams, making the patient an active member of the care team,"


According to Duckert, the hospital has been successful with the use of MyChart, which allows patients to receive test results, schedule appointments and communicate with physicians through their computer or smart phone. 


"With proper authorization, patients can gain access to the records of their minor children and adult family members," she said. "This has proved beneficial to family members at a distance who are trying to stay current on an elderly patient's health care issues. Additionally, this portal allows secure access to insurance claims and billing information through our partner health insurance program."


Duckert also cited the hospital's use of palm vein scanning to accurately identify patients during clinic visits and hospital admission.


"This is used to aid in the identification of patients and may be used in the future to identify patients in the emergency room who are unconscious or uncommunicative," she said. "It also helps to identify medical fraud and protect against medical identity theft."

Date Published: 10/02/2012

News tag(s):  recognition

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