Fletcher Allen to Seek Federal Meaningful Use Status for Its Electronic Health Record System

January 13, 2011

Michael Carrese
Marketing  and Communications

BURLINGTON VT – Fletcher Allen Health Care Allen joined with more than 100 other hospitals across the nation today in a nationwide electronic health record (EHR) Incentive Program Registration Event to officially register with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The registration signaled Fletcher Allen’s intent to achieve the government’s “meaningful use” EHR designation for Stage 1 by December 2011.  Registration for the program opened this week.

Achieving this designation will make Fletcher Allen eligible for incentive funds available through the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, which are part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).  If successful, the organization would be eligible to receive up to approximately $4 million in incentive funds in the first year of a 4-stage incentive program.  Incentive payments to Fletcher Allen in subsequent stages of the program are expected to be lower than that received in the first stage, and are dependent upon meeting each stage’s criteria.

The initial stage of the program, which takes place during 2011 and 2012, defines meaningful use for hospitals with associated medical practices as those that satisfy 39 EHR objectives established by HHS allowing them to:

  • electronically capture health information in a coded format
  • use that information to track key clinical conditions
  • communicate that information for care coordination purposes
  • implement clinical decision support tools
  • initiate reporting of clinical quality measures and public health information 

“The primary reason to install an EHR system is to improve the safety and quality of patient care,” said John Brumsted, chief medical officer, Fletcher Allen Health Care.

 “EHRs dramatically reduce the chance for medication errors, for example, and the quality of patient care is improved by insuring that evidence-based medical practices are used consistently to treat patients.

“The federal government has recognized the clear benefits of EHRs, and through this incentive program, is encouraging the nation’s hospitals to install them as soon as possible,” Brumsted continued.  “EHR implementation is also a top priority of the State of Vermont and we’re working with the state’s Division of Health Care Reform as well as the Vermont Institution Technology Leaders organization. Currently, Fletcher Allen is ahead of the curve as we are among approximately 3% of the hospitals nationwide to have a fully-implemented EHR.  I feel that we can meet all of these objectives by December 2011.”

The installation of Fletcher Allen’s EHR system throughout all of its inpatient and outpatient sites was completed on schedule in December, three years after the $57-million project was approved by the state.

More information on our Electronic Health Record (PRISM)

From Our Blog: Electronic Health Records, Security and You

From Our Blog:  Improving Your Care with Electronic Health Records: A Physician Perspective


About Fletcher Allen

Fletcher Allen Health Care, together with our partners at the University of Vermont College of Medicine and the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, is Vermont’s academic medical center.  Our mission is to improve the health of the people in the communities we serve by integrating patient care, education and research in a caring environment.  Fletcher Allen serves as a regional referral center -- providing advanced care to approximately one million people in Vermont and northern New York -- and as a community hospital for approximately 150,000 residents in Chittenden and Grand Isle counties. For more information about Fletcher Allen, find us online at http://www.fletcherallen.org or on our Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and blog sites at www.fletcherallen.org/socialmedia.