Silver Hill Hospital Sees Clear Benefits from EHR Implementation

After OpenVista EHR adoption, leading psychiatric hospital enjoys improvements in clinical efficiency; New legislation would extend health IT stimulus to behavioral health facilities

NEW CANAAN, Conn., and SAN DIEGO—November 5, 2010—Silver Hill Hospital and Medsphere Systems Corporation today highlighted a series of clinical and organizational improvements achieved by the nationally recognized psychiatric hospital since the implementation of Medsphere’s OpenVista electronic health record (EHR) in March 2010. The hospital’s achievements demonstrate the effectiveness of comprehensive health IT in psychiatric settings even as federal legislators work to extend the financial incentives for health IT adoption included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to mental health providers.

Some of Silver Hill Hospital’s key OpenVista milestones include:

  • High clinician adoption rates for the computerized physician order entry (CPOE) system: Since implementing OpenVista, Silver Hill Hospital has electronically entered nearly 98 percent of all inpatient medication orders. To receive ARRA stimulus funds, hospitals must show that no less than 30 percent of patients have at least one medication prescribed through CPOE.
  • An efficient and timely discharge process: With OpenVista, Silver Hill has nearly eliminated the late transfer of medical records from the hospital to outside physicians after a patient’s discharge. In July 2010, only three percent of all discharged patient records were late.
  • The electronic prevention of medical errors: Since the introduction of Bar Code Medication Administration (BCMA), clinicians validate and document medications at the point of care using a bar code scanner and integrated software application.

“In fewer than six months with OpenVista, we have vastly increased our speed in sharing comprehensive patient information with all members of the treatment team,” said Silver Hill President and Medical Director Sigurd Ackerman, M.D. “The adoption of OpenVista by physicians and other clinical providers is almost universal across our facility, enabling a cohesive and integrated digital care environment in which patients receive the highest quality of care.”

In recent months, U.S. policymakers in both the House and Senate have proposed legislation that would extend ARRA financial incentives for EHR implementation to mental health providers and facilities. Focused on improving patient care, Silver Hill Hospital opted for the open source OpenVista solution long before federal dollars were a possible incentive for psychiatric facilities.

“OpenVista allowed us to tailor our assessment forms based on proven and uniform best practices,” said Silver Hill Hospital Chief Operating Officer Elizabeth Moore. “With all assessments, medications and integrated clinical team information in one location for each patient, we can send a patient’s complete discharge information to physicians outside of Silver Hill in real time, enabling continuous and fully informed patient care.”

Open source architecture gives Silver Hill Hospital the freedom to tailor OpenVista to the unique needs of mental health care providers and uniform best practices. For example, the hospital tailored the system to facilitate suicide assessments, multidisciplinary treatment plans and other custom requirements, such as a CAGE alcohol screening questionnaire, nursing assessments with detailed substance and psychiatric history components, and diagnosis-specific treatment plans.

“Dr. Ackerman has demonstrated great vision and tremendous support for his clinical staff by choosing a customizable EHR system that improves patient care and reduces overall costs,” said Medsphere President and CEO Mike Doyle. “Medsphere is proud to support Silver Hill Hospital in its continuing role as an industry leader in both psychiatric patient care and health IT.”

Medsphere’s unique subscription service fees provide the entire spectrum of patient care with a comprehensive clinical support system that requires no significant capital outlay. This affordability factor is particularly relevant for psychiatric facilities, which lag far behind general healthcare in access to health information technology, according to a 2009 Behavioral Health/Human Services Information Systems Survey of nearly 500 organizations.

About Silver Hill

Founded in 1931, Silver Hill Hospital is a nationally recognized psychiatric hospital with 129 licensed beds. Located in New Canaan—a Fairfield County, Conn., suburb of New York City—the independent not-for-profit facility provides inpatient and residential Transitional Living Programs for adolescents and adults on a pastoral 45-acre campus.

Silver Hill treats patients for mood disorders, including depression and bipolar disorders; schizophrenia and other psychoses; and eating, personality and substance use disorders. The hospital brings particular expertise to the treatment of patients with dual psychiatric and substance use disorder diagnoses. A high staff-to-patient ratio, dignified home-like setting, continuum of care philosophy, and emphasis on family involvement help patients achieve rapid stabilization. Silver Hill Hospital is affiliated with the Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry.

About Medsphere and OpenVista