• Rome leads the way in achieving national electronic health record objectives

    Rome Memorial Hospital is ahead of the curve in meeting standards established by the federal government for adoption and use of electronic health records to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of patient health care.

    The hospital successfully demonstrated compliance with 19 objectives of the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Care Record (EHR) Incentive Program and attested for Stage 2 Meaningful Use in July. As of August 1, only 78 hospitals - less than 2 percent of hospitals nationwide - had met the Stage 2 Meaningful Use reporting requirements. As of Sept. 1, the number had grown to only 143 hospitals, according to federal data.

    Meaningful Use is a multi-year government incentive program created under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to encourage health care providers across the country to make the switch to electronic health records.

    The hospital will receive approximately $925,000 in Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments to help offset the money spent implementing the $6 million EHR system, according to Vice President/Chief Information Officer Bruce Peterson.

    “This achievement reflects the hard work of staff across many disciplines, who partnered with our physicians and our patients to meet the objectives,” Peterson said. “While objectives that require engagement with patients and sending information electronically to providers outside the hospital have impeded other facilities, our teams were unrelenting in their efforts to work through the barriers.”

    One of the challenges was meeting the patient portal objective, which requires that a minimum of five percent of hospitalized patients create an account and access their medical record online. While the target seems low, hospital inpatients tend to be elderly and many don’t have internet access at home.

    “We developed a coordinated approach to educate patients about the new online portal and its benefits and provided one-on-one assistance to help them create an account and view their records,” said Cassie Winter, vice president communications/marketing.

    The hospital’s Patient Portal provides patients with secure online access to their medical records related to their overnight hospital stay or emergency department visit. Medical imaging and lab results are also available through the Patient Portal.

    “Establishing a Patient Portal account is easy and secure,” Winter said. “When you have services performed at the hospital, provide a valid e-mail address during registration. You will receive an e-mail with a personalized link to verify your identity and gain access to your records.”

    Medical information is available in the Patient Portal for dates of service after April 1, 2014. Patients can also use secure messaging to request an appointment for a test with a physician’s order or inquire about a bill. Patients with questions about their test results should contact their physician.

    The hospital’s affiliated practices have also launched their own patient portals, which require a separate registration process and log-in. The practices include:

    Rome Medical Group
    Boonville Family Care
    Camden Family Care
    Delta Medical
    Rome Orthopedics & Sports Medicine
    Rome Surgical Specialists
    Upstate Urology
    Anwar Wassel, M.D.(Pulmonology/Sleep Medicine)
    Glady Jacob, M.D. (Neurology)

      Patient Portal Registration PATIENT PORTAL – Patient Access Clerk Teresa Azevedo provides a patient with information about Rome Memorial Hospital’s Patient Portal, which gives patients secure online access to portions of the medical records, including lab and medical imaging results. Providing patients with online access to their records was one of the 19 objectives that the hospital needed to achieve to satisfy federal electronic health record standards.