News Release: Emory Healthcare

Jul. 22,  2011

U.S. News & World Report Names Three Emory Hospitals Among Nation's "Most Connected"

Three Emory hospitals join short list for advanced electronic medical record systems

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ATLANTA – Three Emory Hospitals – Emory University Hospital, Emory University Hospital Midtown and Emory University Orthopaedics & Spine Hospital - have been named by U.S. News & World Report among a select list of only 118 institutions nationwide for being leaders in the development and use of electronic medical records technology.

The three Emory hospitals join only one other hospital in Georgia – Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah – to be named to the list as part of this year’s annual U.S. News & World Report “Guide to America’s Best Hospitals.”

According to the publication, the 118 hospitals have met two challenging standards to earn them a place among the leading centers of medicine quickly moving into the era of electronic medical records.

Each is distinguished by having captured a national or metro ranking in the 2011-12 U.S. News Best Hospitals and/or Best Children's Hospitals rankings or by having earned the designation of "high-performing" in one or more medical specialties. And each hospital, or one or more of its major units--such as a children's hospital within the larger institution--is a leader in moving to electronic medical records, according to HIMSS Analytics, a division of the nonprofit Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society that analyzes use of health information technology.

“We are pleased to be among those few institutions recognized as ‘most connected,’” says Emory Healthcare Chief Information Officer Dedra Cantrell, RN.  “Every day brings new challenges to our environment and showcases the importance of information technology (IT) to the health care environment in ways that weren’t imagined even five years ago.   The tools we implement, and are helping to create, are critical to the next level of patient safety, quality of care and coordination of care across settings.   We are proud to be a part of promoting the use of IT in every Emory hospital and clinic.”

Emory has been at the national forefront in its development and use of electronic technology to transform the delivery of health care, and has invested more than $50 million in implementing a system-wide network. But the multi-year project, begun in the early part of this decade, is much more than simply converting paper medical records to an electronic, "paperless" format. A national push to transition from paper to electronic medical records is now underway. While paper files might be difficult to quickly locate – or even lost, an electronic patient record is stored on a network that is accessible throughout an individual facility or system. Information technology professionals are also trying to find the best way to open up the network to health care providers throughout the country in case a patient needs to be sent to a specialist in another city. When a patient's electronic medical record is accessible by more than one doctor, better health decisions can be made for that patient.

“The Emory Electronic Medical Record (EeMR) allows us to enter patient information and orders directly into computers, and the technology responds with useful just-in-time information such as reminders and alerts about drug interactions, and even assists with administrative activities such as coding and billing,” says William A. Bornstein, MD, PhD, chief quality officer for Emory Healthcare. “EeMR has increased efficiency and enabled our physicians and nursing staff to make the very best decisions regarding patient care, and has been a key tool in our constant efforts to improve patient quality and safety.”

Emory again joined the prestigious ranks of America's top medical institutions in the 22nd annual U.S. News & World Report guide to "America's Best Hospitals" released this week. Emory hospitals took top local honors in U.S. News & World Report’s first ever Metro Hospital Ranking with Emory University Hospital ranking first, with two other Emory hospitals - Emory University Hospital Midtown and Emory Wesley Woods Geriatric Hospital – also ranking in the top 5. The new rankings recognize 622 hospitals in or near major cities with a record of high performance in key medical specialties - including 132 of the 152 hospitals already identified as being among the best in the nation. U.S. News ranked hospitals within all 52 U.S. metro areas with populations of 1 million or more, using existing data from 2010-11 Best Hospitals. 

This year’s Best Hospitals rankings and information on the “Most Connected” hospitals now appears online at: www.usnews.com/besthospitals. The print edition will arrive on  newsstands on Aug. 31. 

The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center (http://www.whsc.emory.edu/home/about) of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focusing on teaching, research, health care and public service.

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The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service.

Learn more about Emory’s health sciences:
Blog: http://emoryhealthblog.com
Twitter: @emoryhealthsci
Web: http://emoryhealthsciences.org

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