HIMSS Analytics honors Saint Peter’s with Stage 6 recognition

August 22, 2014


NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. - HIMSS Analytics announced today that Saint Peter’s University Hospital, a member of Saint Peter’s Healthcare System, has achieved Stage 6 on the EMR (electronic medical records) Adoption ModelSM (EMRAM).

     HIMSS Analytics developed the EMR Adoption Model in 2005 as a methodology for evaluating the progress and impact of electronic medical record systems for hospitals in the HIMSS Analytics™ Database.  Tracking their progress in completing eight stages (0-7), hospitals can review the implementation and utilization of information technology applications with the intent of reaching Stage 7, which represents an advanced electronic patient record environment.


     Stage 6 hospitals

  • Have made significant executive commitments and investments to reach this stage.


  • Appear 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 their IT applications across most of the inpatient care settings.


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


  • Have made investments that are within reach of most hospitals 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 the patient safety environment


  • Are 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.


     Stage 6 hospitals also have achieved a significant advancement in their IT capabilities that positions them to successfully address many of the current industry transformations such as meaningful use criteria in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, claims attachments for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, pay for performance, and government quality reporting programs.

     Getting to Stage 6 was an iterative process for Saint Peter’s University Hospital that began in 2009 when Saint Peter’s committed to implement one of the most advanced and far-reaching electronic health record implementations in New Jersey. Saint Peter’s has since worked with its clinical staff and physicians to improve the  quality of care by installing a hospital-wide rapid rounding and results viewer, computerized physician order entry, bar-coded medications administration at the bedside, advanced analytics, and more. With each implementation Saint Peter’s has advanced up the electronic health record adoption scale of the governing body, the Health Information Management Systems Society. Saint Peter’s has been awarded Stage 6 recognition as a result.  The definition of Stage 6 electronic health record adoption means that the electronic medical record contains full physician documentation with structured templates and discrete data, and that this has been implemented for at least one inpatient care service area for progress notes, consult notes, discharge summaries, or problem list and diagnosis list maintenance.  Saint Peter’s achieved Stages 1 through 5 to reach Stage 6.    

      “This has been an exhaustive process,” said Frank DiSanzo, chief information and strategy officer for the healthcare system, “as is evinced by the fact that only 15 percent of the more than 5,000 hospitals in the United States have achieved Stage 6 or greater.”

     “HIMSS Analytics congratulates Saint Peter’s University Hospital for leading the way toward health IT adoption,” said John Hoyt, FACHE, FHIMSS, executive vice president, HIMSS Analytics.  “Stage 6 represents a level of sophistication that only 825 U.S. hospitals have reached to date.”

Each stage encompasses specific benchmarks for completion. Those stages are:

Stage 1: All three major ancillary clinical systems are installed (i.e., pharmacy, laboratory and radiology).

Stage 2: Major ancillary clinical systems feed data to a clinical data repository (CDR) that provides physician access for reviewing all orders and results. The CDR contains a controlled medical vocabulary and the clinical decision support/rules engine (CDS) for rudimentary conflict checking. Information from document imaging systems may be linked to the CDR at this stage. The hospital may be health information exchange (HIE) capable at this stage and can share whatever information it has in the CDR with other patient care stakeholders.

Stage 3: Nursing/clinical documentation (e.g. vital signs, flow sheets, nursing notes, electronic medical administration record (eMAR) is required and is implemented and integrated with the CDR for at least one inpatient service in the hospital; care plan charting is scored with extra points. The eMAR application is implemented. The first level of clinical decision support is implemented to conduct error checking with order entry (i.e., drug/drug, drug/ food, drug/lab conflict checking normally found in the pharmacy information system). Medical image access from picture archive and communication systems (PACS) is available for access by physicians outside the radiology department via the organization’s intranet.

Stage 4: Computerized practitioner order entry (CPOE) for use by any clinician licensed to create orders is added to the nursing and CDR environment along with the second level of clinical decision support capabilities related to evidence-based medicine protocols. If one inpatient service area has implemented CPOE with physicians entering orders and completed the previous stages, then this stage has been achieved.

Stage 5: The closed loop medication administration with bar coded unit dose medications environment is fully implemented. The eMAR and bar coding or other auto identification technology, such as radio frequency identification (RFID), are implemented and integrated with CPOE and pharmacy to maximize point of care patient safety processes for medication administration. The “five rights” of medication administration are verified at the bedside with scanning of the bar code on the unit that does medication and the patient ID.

Stage 6: Full physician documentation with structured templates and discrete data is implemented for at least one inpatient care service area for progress notes, consult notes, discharge summaries or problem list and diagnosis list maintenance. Level three of clinical decision support provides guidance for all clinician activities related to protocols and outcomes in the form of variance and compliance alerts. A full complement of radiology PACS systems provides medical images to physicians via an Intranet and displaces all film-based images. Cardiology PACS and document imaging are scored with extra points.

Stage 7: The hospital no longer uses paper charts to deliver and manage patient care

About Saint Peter’s Healthcare System

Saint Peter’s Healthcare System Inc., parent company of the Saint Peter’s healthcare delivery system, is comprised of Saint Peter’s University Hospital, a 478-bed acute-care teaching hospital; Saint Peter’s Foundation, the fundraising arm of the hospital; and Saint Peter’s Health and Management Services Corp., which oversees the system’s outpatient facilities. These include the CARES Surgicenter; New Brunswick Cardiac Cath Lab; Community Care Services Inc.; the Margaret McLaughlin McCarrick Care Center Inc., a residential skilled nursing facility in Somerset; and Saint Peter’s Adult Day Center in Monroe Township. Saint Peter’s Healthcare System is sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen. For more information about Saint Peter’s Healthcare System, please visit or call 732-745-8600.

About HIMSS Analytics

HIMSS Analytics is a wholly owned not-for-profit subsidiary of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). The company collects and analyzes healthcare data related to IT processes and environments, products, IS department composition and costs, IS department management metrics, healthcare trends and purchase-related decisions. HIMSS Analytics delivers high quality data and analytical expertise to healthcare delivery organizations, healthcare IT companies, state governments, financial companies, pharmaceutical companies, and consulting firms.  Visit for more information.

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