November 30, 2023

Technology Integration Earns Accolades for Cleveland Clinic London

First private hospital in the U.K. to receive HIMSS EMRAM Stage 6 accreditation

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Oral medications are normally dispensed in multidose strips in U.K. hospitals, but not at Cleveland Clinic London. There, medications are provided to patients in single-dose units, each individually barcoded.

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“In addition to being the first in the U.K. to use a novel unit-dosing robot, Cleveland Clinic London is the first to use automated dispensing cabinets in each ward and perioperative area,” says Francine de Stoppelaar, PharmD, Director of Pharmacy at Cleveland Clinic London. “These cabinets are connected to an automated stock-control management system. We’re also the first in the U.K. to use a hospitalwide barcoded medicines administration system that is connected to our electronic health record. At the bedside, caregivers scan both the medication unit dose and patient wristband, ensuring each patient gets the accurately prescribed medication, creating a fully closed-loop medicines administration system.”

Not only is this innovative medication-dispensing and -tracking system improving safety for patients and caregivers, it also is drawing attention from industry leaders. Due to pioneering technology like this, Cleveland Clinic London recently earned Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM) Stage 6 accreditation from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).

This level of technological integration is rare for U.K. hospitals. Only eight out of more than 1,100 U.K. hospitals (0.73%) have achieved EMRAM Stage 6 or higher, and Cleveland Clinic London is the first private hospital to reach this milestone.

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How Cleveland Clinic London achieved EMRAM Stage 6

EMRAM is a framework that assesses the level of digital maturity and sophistication of healthcare organisations. To achieve EMRAM Stage 6, a hospital must demonstrate a significant level of digitalisation and integration of an electronic health record (EHR) into their operations. This digital integration contributes to high-quality care, efficiency, data utilisation and other benefits.

“Being awarded a Stage 6 accreditation from HIMSS is a major achievement for the team,” said Raihaan Mughal, Associate Chief Information Officer, Cleveland Clinic London. “We have built one of the most technologically advanced hospitals in the U.K., and I’m delighted that our focus on innovation to improve patient care has been recognised.”

In addition to praising Cleveland Clinic London for having one of the most forward-thinking hospital pharmacies in the U.K., the HIMSS assessor noted the hospital’s:

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  • Nearly paperless environment.
  • MyChart EHR system and its ability to provide patients with access to appointments, test results, images and other medical record information. The assessor was impressed that 73% of Cleveland Clinic London patients are active users of MyChart.
  • Comprehensive range of electronic dashboards designed to assist caregivers with daily operations, management of quality and assessment of risk.

“[Cleveland Clinic London’s] visionary leadership, cutting-edge technology, and unwavering commitment to excellence are shaping the future of healthcare,” said the HIMSS assessor, John Rayner, Digital Health Strategist, in a press release.

What this accreditation means for patient care and hospital performance

Achievement of EMRAM Stage 6 indicates several advantages for Cleveland Clinic London and the other accredited hospitals:

  • Improved patient care and safety. Hospitals at EMRAM Stage 6 have advanced clinical decision support systems, electronic medication administration records and electronic order sets. This can lead to better-informed clinical decisions, reduced medication errors and improved patient outcomes.
  • Enhanced efficiency. Hospitals operating at this stage have streamlined workflows and reduced reliance on paper-based processes. This can result in faster access to patient information, reduced administrative burdens and improved operational efficiency.
  • Data availability and analysis. EMRAM Stage 6 hospitals have robust data repositories, making it easier to access and analyse patient data for quality improvement initiatives, research and strategic decision-making.
  • Interoperability. These hospitals have achieved a high level of data sharing and exchange among different healthcare systems and providers, leading to better care coordination and smoother transitions of care for patients.
  • Patient engagement. With advanced EHR systems, hospitals can provide patients with online access to their medical records, lab results and other health information, promoting patient engagement and empowerment.
  • Regulatory compliance. Many healthcare regulations and standards are tied to the use of EHRs. Hospitals at EMRAM Stage 6 are likely to be better positioned to meet compliance requirements and data security standards.
  • Cost savings. While the initial investment in EHR implementation can be significant, hospitals that have reached EMRAM Stage 6 often realise cost savings over time due to streamlined processes, reduced paperwork and improved resource utilisation.
  • Clinical decision support. Advanced clinical decision support systems can help healthcare providers make more informed decisions by presenting relevant patient data, treatment guidelines and best practices at the point of care.
  • Preparation for future stages. Achieving EMRAM Stage 6 sets the groundwork for potentially reaching Stage 7, which involves full interoperability and utilisation of EHR data to improve population health.

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