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2011 Year in Review

HHC Board of Directors

Electronic Medical Records and Meaningful Use

As you know, HHC was an early adopter of electronic medical record technology and we have won several national awards for our use of clinical information technology to drive improvements in care. Our EMR has allowed us to program alerts and "must enter" fields that help guide evidence-based care, and has facilitated coordination of care across the continuum of care within our own system. We have embedded depression screening aids, asthma action plans, Coumadin dosing safeguards, and deep-vein thrombosis prophylaxis guides into our EMR, among other meaningful functionality. A data warehouse populated from the EMR has allowed us to run electronic chronic disease registries that have proven to be an effective tool in helping our clinicians better manage diabetes and hypertension. Indeed, partly as a result, all HHC facilities now qualify under NCQA's Diabetes Recognition Program as excellent providers of diabetes care.

Our current EMR has now been "certified" as compliant with the requirements for federal funding available under the America Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for hospitals and physicians that demonstrate that they possess certified EMRs that also meet "meaningful use" requirements. We have begun the process of demonstrating "meaningful use" of our EMR in the various ways that will qualify us to begin receiving nearly $200 million ARRA funds over the next several years. We expect to complete the process of documenting our compliance with "meaningful use" requirements for all of our facilities by July 2012.

Because our current EMR was first developed more than 20 years ago and lacks some of the capabilities that will be essential to manage patients across all care settings, to co-manage patients with partners outside our own system, and to involve patients more deeply in managing their own care, this past year we conducted an extensive review of state-of-the-art EMRs as part of a competitive procurement process. We will shortly select our new EMR vendor, seek the Board's contracting approval, and begin the complex process of migrating our more than 15,000 EMR users to a new, and much more powerful, system.

On a parallel track, we continue to develop the Interboro RHIO which, as mentioned above, is based upon technology that allows clinical data exchange among users of disparate EMRs. The Interboro RHIO now includes HHC and non-HHC facilities in Queens and Brooklyn and will be extended by the end of this year to facilities in Manhattan and Queens. At the present time, more than 350,000 patient records have been uploaded into Interboro's database. Going forward, our RHIO will ultimately be essential to enabling the informed co-management of patients with providers and facilities outside our own system.