A rural Minnesota, independent community healthcare system is among the top 7 percent of healthcare systems in the nation when it comes to using information technology to improve healthcare quality, safety and outcomes.
Winona Health, nestled in Winona, Minn., (population 28,000) along the Mississippi river in southeast Minnesota, has been a pioneer in health information technology adoption to improve care since 2001 when it was among the first healthcare organizations to develop an integrated electronic medical record system. Today, the organization conducts healthcare appointments in a paperless environment.
After a rigorous, independent onsite visit during which evaluators observed healthcare providers and nurses caring for patients using the organization’s electronic patient records, they announced that Winona Health met the criteria to earn the HIMSS* Stage 7 Ambulatory award. This award honors organizations operating in a paperless environment and representing best practices in implementing electronic health records.
Evaluators observed several best practices in population health including increased breast cancer screening and depression screening, improved care for patients with diabetes, and community engagement programs such as the Community Care Network. Less than 7 percent of clinics nationwide have achieved this award.
“It is very rewarding, because our goal is to improve healthcare for our patients. It’s always about the patient,” said Daniel Parker, MD, chief of the medical staff at Winona Health. “This achievement has been an ongoing team effort, and it reflects that our data-driven, lean management culture is embedded throughout our organization. Our IT partner, Cerner ITWorks, is completely integrated with our staff and that close collaboration is key to our ability to leverage IT when it comes to patient care.”
“Winona Health is a great example of an organization that is putting the person at the center of care,” said Zane Burke, president of Cerner. “We applaud Winona’s industry leadership, especially in helping us advance interoperability by connecting organizations with different EHR systems and facilitating electronic communication between patients and care providers.”
In addition to facilitating personalized care, technology also empowers individuals to take charge of and improve their health.
“Long before most healthcare organizations were contemplating electronic records, Winona Health was beginning to transform healthcare delivery through technology,” said Kathleen Lanik, chief Quality and Safety officer. “In addition to implementing technology to streamline processes like provider orders and visit documentation in real time, we’ve continued to add patient-requested features to our secure patient portal, My Winona Health, making it easier for patients to access their health records and communicate with us at their convenience.”
Winona Health will continue to strategically leverage technology to revolutionize community healthcare.
For more information about Winona Health, visit www.winonahealth.org.
*HIMSS – Health Information Management Systems Society.
About Winona Health
Founded in 1894 and located on the Mississippi River in southeast Minnesota, Winona Health is a nonprofit healthcare system meeting the lifelong needs of the Winona regional community. With nearly 1,200 employees, the healthcare system includes more than 50 physicians and 40 associate providers. Winona Health cares for the community through its primary care clinics, surgical and specialty clinics, an urgent care clinic, emergency department, 99-bed hospital, skilled nursing home, assisted living appartments, and home care, paliative care and hospice services. In addition, Winona Health has a primary care clinic in Rushford, Minn. Winona Health is governed by a volunteer board of directors who guide the organization’s fulfillment of its mission: to improve the health and well-being of the community.
Winona Health earned the Performance Excellence Network‘s 2013 Performance Excellence Award, which is based on the nationally-recognized Baldrige criteria. It has also been recognized 10 times as one of the Most Wired small and rural hospitals. For more information about Winona Health: www.winonahealth.org.
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