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A-EMRAM Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Ambulatory EMR Adoption ModelSM?
The Ambulatory EMR Adoption ModelSM (A-EMRAM) is the next-generation tool in monitoring EMR adoption in ambulatory settings. This new evaluation model creates a framework for dialogue among ambulatory facilities because it provides the needed focus on vital IT systems that need to be implemented for achieving higher levels of access, quality, efficiency and safety.

Why did HIMSS Analytics create the A-EMRAM?
HIMSS Analytics developed the A-EMRAM based on a combination of compliance, market trends and healthcare delivery factors now impacting today’s ambulatory settings.

  • Market trends: HIMSS Analytics studied market trends as it reviewed the need for the A-EMRAM. Research indicated that more than 70% of all healthcare activities involve a face-to-face physician visit (National Center for Health Statistics) and more than 26% of healthcare expenditures relate to ambulatory care, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.
  • Healthcare delivery factors: The marketplace now offers leading-software to help ambulatory settings transition from paper to electronic medical records. Thus, the A-EMRAM, as the new industry metric, will help ‘push the market’ toward Stage 7 since the health IT solutions are both available and effective.
  • Compliance: Using the A-EMRAM, facilities eligible for the EMR Incentive Program now have a methodology for demonstrating meaningful use.

How many ambulatory facilities are now at Stage 7 on the A-EMRAM?
As the current data on the A-EMRAM indicates (June 2012), of the more than 28,000 ambulatory facilities in the HIMSS Analytics database, 9,247 of them have been scored. None is at Stage 7, and 1.2 percent rank at Stage 6.  Just over one-third, or 34 percent, is at Stage 2 with almost half, or 48 percent, paper-chart based at Stage 0.  An explanation of each stage appears on the HIMSS Analytics website.

How did HIMSS Analytics identify the A-EMRAM stages?
As part of its development and review process for the A-EMRAM, HIMSS Analytics reached out to software and healthcare providers requesting their review of this new evaluation tool. As a result, these organizations provided valuable feedback and guidance that helped HIMSS Analytics establish realistic and achievable metrics for each stage.

How will HIMSS Analytics verify the Stage 7 status of ambulatory facilities?
HIMSS Analytics will follow the same process – conducting on-site visits - for verification of Stage 7 ambulatory facilities as it does for its Stage 7 hospitals.

What can an ambulatory facility do with its A-EMRAM score?
The A-EMRAM score opens the dialogue for evaluation, comparison and achievement.

  • Evaluation: The ambulatory facility can start meeting application requirements and become operational stage by stage, working toward the final level, Stage 7.
  • Comparison: An ambulatory setting can compare its progress with other ambulatory facilities.
  • Achievement: Reaching Stage 7 on the A-EMRAM can best be achieved when the organization aligns its IT initiatives with the overall business strategy, a process designed to help shape the overall strategy for future IT investments. In addition, this approach can help the organization map its progress in meeting meaningful use requirements to obtain funding.

How many ambulatory facilities does HIMSS Analytics track and why?
HIMSS Analytics now tracks, through its database, more than 28,000 ambulatory facilities tethered to, or part of, a larger hospital system. Examples of these facilities include physician practices, emergency department, specialty clinics and other ambulatory settings.

Can only an ambulatory facility tethered to a hospital or hospital system find out its A-EMRAM score?
Any US, non-governmental ambulatory facility can find out its A-EMRAM score by participating in the HIMSS Analytics Annual Study. The facility does not have to be tethered to a hospital or hospital system.

How does the A-EMRAM correlate with meaningful use Stage 1 for Eligible Providers?
HIMSS Analytics will publish a more detailed white paper on the correlations between the current meaningful use Stage 1 for eligible providers, knowing that it may change when meaningful use Stage 2 regulations are finalized later in CY2012. However, most likely a A-EMRAM Stage 4 will meet the criteria to qualify for Stage 1 incentives for meaningful use for Core measures and for five of the menu measures including the public health objectives.

Is the A-EMRAM available for use only in the United States?
This new evaluation tool will be used on a global scale for ambulatory facilities in Canada, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. The A-EMRAM is first being introduced in the United States, with rollout expected by the end of 2012 in the other locations.

Where is more information available?
For more information on the A-EMRAM and an ambulatory facility’s A-EMRAM score, contact Patti Harris, Senior Director of Data Collection and Quality by e-mail or by phone at 866.546.2900.

“HIMSS Analytics’ EMR data helps us explain and justify plans and initiatives with upper management.” – Jim Begin, Director of Information Technology at Golden Valley Memorial Hospital

Learn more about the EMR Adoption Model, how it is used and its advantages. Watch the Video.
If you are a healthcare provider and would like more information on how to obtain your hospital’s EMRAM score, e-mail us or call us at 866.546.2900.