Caritas Christi Health Care will offer electronic medical record software from Athenahealth to its 1,700 doctors in New England.
However, the biggest concentration of Caritas Christi doctors who are using e-health record systems have implemented eClinicalWorks. That's in large part because many of those doctors received the software several years ago for free as part of a $50 million e-health pilot program funded by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.
Under that program, doctors in three Massachusetts communities -- including those in the Brockton, Mass. area, a city south of Boston -- were provided with free eClinicalWorks systems and services for their practices.
Brockton is also home to Caritas Christi's Good Samaritan Medical Center, helping to explain the high adoption rate of e-health records among Caritas Christi employed and affiliated doctors in that region of Massachusetts, Rothenhaus said. As for Good Samaritan, the hospital is Caritas Christi's most IT-advanced facility, said Rothenhaus.
"Brockton is our biggest success so far," he said.
Good Samaritan recently rolled out a new computerized physician order-entry system and the hospital itself is a Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society stage-six user of EMRs, out of seven stages, meaning the facility is currently considered an advanced user of e-health records compared with the vast majority of hospitals in the U.S.
However, the meaningful-use criteria set out by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services last week proposes that hospitals by 2015 will need to have a majority of clinicians using EMR systems at stages six and seven -- including using these systems to improve care coordination and public health populations -- in order to meet stimulus reward requirements.