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King Faisal

King Faisal makes national and global news with HIMSS Stage 7 Ambulatory Award

King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre (KFSH&RC) just made national – and global – health information technology history.

The Saudi Arabian health system, based in the capital city of Riyadh, received the Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Stage 7 Ambulatory Award. KFSH&RC is the first in the Middle East – and the world’s first outside of North America – to earn the prestigious honor.

“Adopting technology to serve our patients and facilitate care delivery at all levels is one of the top goals of KFSH&RC,” said Osama Alswailem, M.D., M.A., chief information officer. “Achieving the HIMSS Stage 7 Ambulatory Award is formal recognition by one of the most recognized and respected organizations in health informatics of our success towards this goal.”

KFSH&RC uses the Cerner Millennium® electronic health record (EHR) across its two hospitals, which include over 1,300 beds and serve nearly 70 nationalities. Having initially received the Stage 6 Acute Award in 2012, it attained Stage 6 Ambulatory three years later in the spring of 2015 – another first across the Middle East and Africa.

To reach Stage 7, KFSH&RC integrated new technology to its EHR – including quality reporting, voice recognition and its self-developed patient portal, Sehaty® (which means ‘My Health’ in Arabic). Thanks to Sehaty, patients are more connected to physicians and engaged in their health.

It also pursued physician optimization projects and automated the clinical workflows in its Family Medicine Department. Each step systematically brought KFSH&RC closer to becoming a fully digital, integrated health system.

Their efforts continue to yield strong results. KFSH&RC trained its physicians to create favorites folders to streamline the entry of diagnoses and problems. The volume of physician documented problems jumped from 547 in 2014 to 28,791 in 2015.

Physicians now have more time to contribute to quality improvement and clinical research studies. Their adoption of new technology and workflows showed improved blood pressure control among their hypertensive patient population.

The benefits extend to operational and financial performance as well. Now that data is readily available in the electronic progress note, KFSH&RC generates monthly savings of about 10,000 Saudi Arabian Riyal (SAR).

Today, KFSH&RC is in its fourth phase of EHR implementation, which includes capacity management, evidence-based order sets, Smart Room connectivity in the new 300-bed cancer center.

“Cerner’s Millennium® EHR supported our goal of providing integrated high-quality health care services to our patients,” explained Dr. Alswailem in a recent news release. “With Cerner solutions, our staff is equipped to make more informed decisions and access to the right patient information at the right time.”

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Client outcomes were achieved in respective settings and are not representative of benefits realized by all clients due to many variables, including solution scope, client capabilities and business and implementation models.