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Hospital of Central Connecticut a leader in meeting federal criteria for electronic records program

September 08, 2014 By Kimberly Gensicki

(New Britain, Conn.) – The Hospital of Central Connecticut (HOCC) is now one of less than two percent of U.S. registered hospitals as of Aug. 1 to successfully meet Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Stage 2 criteria for its electronic health records incentive program – meaningful use – that also gives patients the option to securely view their medical records online.

HOCC recently attested to meeting Stage 2 criteria, meeting set standards of the federal program aimed at improving patient safety and care quality while reducing healthcare costs. According to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 78 hospitals had attested to Stage 2 as of Aug. 1.

“Being one of the very few hospitals in the entire nation to attest to Stage 2 meaningful use is an astounding achievement for The Hospital of Central Connecticut. What it means for patients is that we are leveraging electronic health information in real time to improve the outcomes of care. This distinction as a national leader is a real testament to our vision and our people,” says Dr. Steven Hanks, MMM, FACP, vice president, Medical Affairs, HHC Central Region.

Among HOCC’s steps toward meaningful use were implementing a computerized physician order entry program that providers now use to enter medications, lab, discharge instructions and radiology orders online; a bar code scanning safety system to ensure correct medication is given to a patient at the right dose and time; and a secure online patient portal. Current and former patients can register for the patient portal MyHOCC! to securely view their discharge summary, lab reports, allergies, medication list.

Each of these HOCC initiatives supports patient care, safety and engagement, says Dr. Fadi Hammami, HOCC chief medical information officer. “We are on the cusp of seeing a revolution in how electronic medical records can now ‘talk’ with each other so that patient transition from one level of care to another becomes seamless,” says Hammami. “Our use of electronic medical records also supports our efforts toward heightened patient safety by ensuring that the correct medications are given to the right patient, at the right time, dose and frequency.”

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To date nearly 5,000 HOCC patients have been invited to the Patient Portal; of those, about 450 have viewed their records.

In 2012, HOCC committed to achieving meaningful use, which requires two criteria attestations for each of the two stages; this most recent attestation was the first for Stage 2. Through the program, hospitals are financially rewarded for implementing technology toward an electronic health records program. HOCC’s meaningful use efforts support Hartford HealthCare’s systemwide CareConnect program, which is helping transform its patient information systems that place patient safety and security as top priorities.

For more information about HOCC’s patient portal, including information on how to sign up for the portal, please visit thocc.org/patients/myhocc.aspx or call Health Information Management at 860-224-5686.

The Hospital of Central Connecticut (HOCC) is a 414-bed, 32-bassinet acute care teaching hospital with two campuses, New Britain General and Bradley Memorial in Southington. A member of Hartford HealthCare, HOCC services include emergency, inpatient, surgery, laboratory, outpatient, and radiology. Among specialty areas are cardiovascular care, metabolic health, obstetrics, oncology, orthopedics, and psychiatry/behavioral health. For more information, please visit www.thocc.org; for a physician referral, call 1-800-321-6244.

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