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CANANDAIGUA -- F.F. Thompson Hospital recently reached a milestone in the journey toward implementing a fully integrated electronic medical record (EMR) system, achieving Stage 1 of the government’s Meaningful Use criteria.

“Meaningful Use” refers to the set of standards defined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to ensure healthcare facilities are using qualified EMR systems effectively, to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of patient care. Examples of Meaningful Use include:

·         Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE), allowing physicians and other providers to electronically submit orders, increasing efficiency and eliminating the risk of errors related to handwriting.

·         Computerized administration of medications, taking into account the patient’s medication history and lessening the possibility of adverse reactions to drugs.

·         Wider and faster availability of patient records, with multiple users – whether on-site or off-site – able to view information at the same time.

Stage 1 is the first of three Meaningful Use stages. A planned upgrade to the core system at Thompson this fall will position the hospital – which launched its EMR system in June 2012 – to begin Stage 2 compliance in 2014.

“The hard work and dedication to patient safety on the part of our associates and our medical staff are what make Thompson’s achievements with regard to Meaningful Use possible,” said Thompson Health Senior Vice President of Finance/CFO Mark Prunoske.

Prunoske noted Thompson’s five family practices – in Canandaigua, Honeoye, Lima, Shortsville and Victor – achieved Stage 1 Meaningful Use in 2012 and are currently pursuing Stage 2.

In addition to making Thompson eligible for financial incentives from the government, Prunoske said, advancing through the Meaningful Use stages allows the health system to avoid financial penalties associated with noncompliance beginning in 2015.

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