Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Hospitals and Clinics Recognized for Electronic Medical Record Adoption

News Highlights

  • Recognized for using electronic medical records and data to improve patient care and outcomes.
  • HIMSS Stage 7 status is the highest level an organization can achieve.
  • O’Connor Hospital and St. Louise Regional Medical Center joined Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in reaching Stage 7 status.


County of Santa Clara, CA. Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Hospitals and Clinics achieved Stage 7 certification from internationally recognized Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). The certification is for both the Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (EMRAM) and Outpatient Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model (OEMRAM).

In addition to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, which first achieved Stage 7 in 2017, O’Connor Hospital and St. Louise Regional Hospital were validated in December 2020. All three hospitals have Stage 7 certification through 2023.

Electronic medical records (EMR) are critical to providing better health care. Effective use of EMR improves safety, timeliness, patient-centeredness, communication, education, efficiency, and equity.

“This is quite an accomplishment. Only 6.4% of all medical facilities across the United States have achieved this status,” commented Paul E. Lorenz, CEO Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Hospitals and Clinics. “I am extremely proud of our staff. They have done a tremendous job in supporting our efforts in using technology to improve the care we provide.”

HIMSS scores hospitals and ambulatory sites around the world relative to their electronic medical records capabilities. Achieving Stage 7 means the organization has established strong analytics capabilities and is demonstrating the use of the technology in a meaningful way: to improve care, share information, analyze data, and develop security, as patient care and outcomes are optimized. Multiple case studies were submitted for review during validation and included:

COVID-19 Care. Electronic medical record (EMR) workflows were changed to provide comprehensive care to COVID-19 positive patients.  Tools were developed to facilitate telephone triage, COVID symptom and risk screening, telehealth visits, a COVID-19 specific clinic, home monitoring capabilities, and coordinated care management. With the workflows transformed there was increased confidence that both patients and staff were protected from potential undue exposure to COVID-19.

Hospital Integration. Achieved integration of O’Connor Hospital and Saint Louise Regional Hospital with the same technology as Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. Within a short eight-month timeframe and a go-live of August 2019, the team standardized the system and completed an infrastructure upgrade which included 1500+ new end user devices (computers, scanners, printers, and more). This improved technological access for frontline staff, efficiency of patient care, and patient monitoring.

Cardiology Quality Measures and BPAs. For cardiology quality measures, improvements were made to workflows and clinical decision support tools, which increased the collection of necessary patient data. A small multidisciplinary group was formed to ensure documentation was analytically sound and provided the information needed for Quality Incentive Pool (QIP), a Pay-for-Performance Program, reporting. New tools were piloted for two weeks and then expanded to all primary care clinics.  These changes increased quality measures above target and had a positive financial impact of $13.5 million.

While many issues exist across healthcare, HIMSS realizes each organization has different approaches and priorities, depending on resources and the types of communities they serve. The HIMSS models help hospitals and clinics plot a course and put into place measures on how they have progressed along their journey.

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