UC San Diego Health System recently received a Stage 7 award from HIMSS Analytics, signifying that it had reached the most advanced level of EHR development based on the association's criteria. Much of the credit for that achievement belongs to Edward Babakanian, CIO of UC San Diego Health Sciences, which includes the health system and its medical school and research arm.
Babakanian led the effort to create the advanced EHR. First, members of his team improved the performance of the legacy system they inherited, replacing green screens with graphical user interfaces and installing file caches that cut data retrieval time. Then they introduced computerized physician order entry and persuaded most doctors to use it. After that came an electronic medication administration record and a successful effort to get drug suppliers to bar code most of their units.
Over the past several years, UC San Diego also has converted both its inpatient departments and its ambulatory care clinics to the Epic HER system. UC San Diego Medical Center already has attested to Stage 1 Meaningful Use, and the health system's 300 ambulatory care physicians were almost ready to attest early this year. "I'm pretty sure that we're ready for any Stage 2 requirement," Babakanian said. "We're at 100% CPOE, and Stage 2 requires only 60%."
Another reason he believes UC San Diego could easily meet the Stage 2 criteria is that it has made significant progress toward interoperability with local healthcare organizations. Using a grant from the Office of the National Coordinator of Health IT, it's developing a health information exchange with Sharp HealthCare, Rady Children's Hospital San Diego, Scripps Health, and Kaiser Permanente.