Mercy Health - Cincinnati’s Medical Practices and Hospitals Achieve Highest Level of Electronic Medical Records Adoption

Mercy Health – Cincinnati, which provides advanced, compassionate, quality care in your neighborhood through its care network, announces that the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) has recognized three of its five hospitals and all of its physician practices as Stage 7 on HIMSS’ Analytics Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM).


This eight-stage (0-7) model measures the adoption and utilization of electronic medical record (EMR) function in hospitals and outpatient settings. Those at Stage 7, the highest level, operate in a near paperless environment that harnesses technology to support optimized patient care.


In Cincinnati, Mercy Health – Anderson and West hospitals and The Jewish Hospital are part of an elite group of just six percent of all hospitals in the country to achieve Stage 7 on the EMRAM. HIMSS also recognized Mercy Health – Urbana Hospital, Mercy Health – Defiance Hospital, Marcum & Wallace Memorial Hospital and Mercy Health – Allen Hospital, as well as all of Mercy Health’s medical practices, as reaching Stage 7 on the EMRAM.


By harnessing the clinical data available through its electronic health record technology, Mercy Health is working to improve quality of care, patient safety and care delivery efficiency. HIMSS cited Mercy Health’s efforts in combatting the opiate epidemic as a key example.


Mercy Health – Cincinnati implemented the Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) protocol using the electronic medical record (EMR) to determine if a patient is experiencing issues with substance abuse or depression. Every patient – both in the hospital setting and in the doctor’s office - undergoes a detailed substance abuse prescreen questionnaire at the start of their visit. Based on their answers, staff determine next steps in intervention with the patient as needed.


SBIRT’s public health focus helps normalize topics that can be difficult for many patients and providers to discuss. SBIRT decreases the stigma attached to discussing alcohol and drug use and facilitates dialogue in a way that is more comfortable and beneficial for patients and providers.


Additionally, Mercy Health developed an evidence-based order set (Opiate Withdrawal Focused) and nursing assessment (Clinical Opiate Withdrawal Scale - COWS) that facilitates and standardizes inpatient treatment and/or symptom management for patients experiencing withdrawal.


HIMSS released a blog post focused on Mercy Health’s efforts; “The Opioid Epidemic: How Organizations like Mercy Health Are Fighting Back” that can be found via


“At Mercy Health, the opiate crisis is a critical focus for us. Across all of our locations in Ohio and Kentucky, our clinical care teams are on the front lines working to combat the opiate crisis and find solutions that will get those with substance abuse disorders back to healthy living,” said Kelley Recker, vice president, CarePATH, Mercy Health. “By utilizing electronic health records technology and innovation, we saw an opportunity to address the issue at a key entry point for those seeking healthcare: our emergency departments and practices. Leveraging the power of data and information allows us to provide better care, treatment and resources for all patients and their families.”


CarePATH is Mercy Health’s comprehensive electronic health record system.


HIMSS will formally recognize Mercy Health’s achievement at the 2018 HIMSS Global Conference & Exhibition taking place March 5-9 in Las Vegas.