Fletcher Allen, a Vermont university hospital and medical center, serves all of
Vermont and the northern New York region. Located in Burlington, Fletcher Allen is a regional, academic healthcare center and teaching hospital in alliance with the University of Vermont.
Fletcher Allen's Electronic Health Record Meets Federal Requirements
Receives $2.7 Million Incentive Payment
February 1, 2012
Marketing and Communications
BURLINGTON, VT – Fletcher Allen announced that it has met electronic medical record (EMR) system quality, safety and efficiency requirements developed by the federal government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). These standards, part of the CMS Meaningful Use program, help hospitals focus on aspects of EHR implementation deemed most important by CMS, namely those that improve patient safety, quality of care and health system efficiency.
The institution will receive an incentive payment of $2.75M from CMS for meeting these Meaningful Use standards.
Meaningful Use is a multi-year government incentive program created under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to encourage health care providers across the country make the switch to electronic health records. Fletcher Allen was in the first wave of hospitals recognized for successfully meeting the program’s Stage 1 requirements.
“This recognition signifies a major milestone in the history of our EMR project and reflects the hard work of many people throughout Fletcher Allen,” said John Brumsted, Fletcher Allen’s interim president and chief executive officer. “It’s worth noting that the Meaningful Use criteria were published by the government well after the initial design of our system was underway. It took a considerable effort to review and calibrate our system to ensure that we could successfully meet the requirements and qualify for this incentive.”
The $57.2 million project received Certificate of Need approval from the state in March 2008. The first part of the installation was completed and operational in the pharmacy in early May 2009. The system was operational throughout all of Fletcher Allen on schedule at the end of 2010.
CMS recognized that by installing and meaningfully using an EHR system, health care providers would reap benefits such as improved patient safety and clinical outcomes through reduction in errors, improved availability of records and data, reminders and alerts, clinical decision support, and e-prescribing/refill automation. The meaningful use incentive program helped health care providers to focus on specific uses that would be of most benefit to patients.
Stages 2 and 3 in the Meaningful Use program become effective in 2015 and 2015 and are scheduled to provide incentive payments for meeting additional goals as EHR systems become more fully developed and integrated.