Alameda Health System (AHS) has transitioned to using digital health records across its outpatient services, and in June landed top honors for that achievement. The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), an industry-leading health information and technology organization, recognized AHS for achieving stage seven, which is the highest level of the Outpatient Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model.

“A huge congratulations to the entire ambulatory team, information systems team, and everyone at AHS for this incredible achievement! Receiving a stage seven validation is a global symbol of an organization’s dedication to digital transformation in health care,” said Mark Amey, CIO of Alameda Health System.

In practical terms, this designation means paper records are no longer being generated or used at any point during a patient’s outpatient healthcare journey at AHS. Even if patients come in with hard copy paper records from another provider, AHS staff digitally process and manage those documents. Transcriptions and orders are all done electronically, among many other processes, which streamlines care and reduces errors.

These improvements increase the ease with which providers can access patients’ medical histories and enables AHS to deliver a smooth continuum of care, said Dr. David English, AHS Chief of Medical Informatics.  “Caring, healing, teaching, serving all, we really take that seriously,” he said.

The designation puts AHS in a relatively small group of U.S. healthcare systems: less than 15 percent have achieved stage seven. It took AHS about 1.5 years to achieve the designation, which involved comprehensive assessments, surveys, and interviews with staff.

Now that AHS has reached stage seven for its outpatient services, the next target is achieving that designation for its inpatient services. More to come!