Sentara Named One of the Most Wired Health Care Systems Across the Nation
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Sentara Named One of the Most Wired Health Care Systems Across the Nation 

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For the sixth consecutive year, Sentara Healthcare has been named one of the 100 Most Wired Health Systems in the nation.

The 2005 Most Wired Survey and Benchmarking Study recognizes health care organizations that have committed significant time, energy and resources to upgrade technology and link their employees, patients, suppliers, insurers and physicians.

The nations 100 Most Wired hospitals and health systems have lower mortality rates than other hospitals, according to results of a new analysis released in the July issue of Hospitals & Health Networks magazine.

While the new survey does not establish a cause and effect relationship between information technology use and improved outcomes, it demonstrates that technology can play an important role in quality.

Sentara Healthcare is committed to providing the latest innovations in technology to enhance clinical outcomes for our patients, said Bert Reese, Sentara Vice President for IT. Its gratifying to see that our continued efforts to move toward a seamless, secure, integrated system are being recognized and applauded by the industry.

Since 1999, Hospitals & Health Networks has surveyed the nations hospitals on their use of information technology to accomplish key goals, including safety and quality objectives. Based on a detailed scoring process, the magazine annually names the 100 Most Wired Hospitals and Health Systems. This year 502 surveys were submitted, representing 1,255 hospitals.

According to an outcomes analysis conducted for the magazine by Solucient, the 100 Most Wired hospitals have, on average, risk-adjusted mortality rates that are 7.2 percent lower than other hospitals, even after controlling for the size of the hospital and teaching status.

This is the first analysis showing that the nations top tech hospitals also have better outcomes, said Alden Solovy, executive editor of Hospitals & Health Networks, the journal of the American Hospital Association (AHA). Solovy says.

The analysis compared mortality results for the 2005 list of Most Wired with the rest of the nation. Solovy cautions that the analysis does not establish a causal relationship between IT and outcomes.

"Thoughtful institutions that pay attention to quality are also interested in clinical information technology," says Graham Hughes, M.D., vice president of product strategy for IDX Systems Corp. "This adds increasing weight to the notion that careful implementation of clinical IT contributes to better care. "

Hospital CIOs say that information technology has a key role in both targeted safety efforts and overall systemic improvement to quality and patient safety.

"This study reflects the potential for change that is sweeping the industry," said Lewis B. Redd, partner, Accenture Health & Life Sciences. "We're entering an era where the IT-enabled integration and analysis of health information are central to better decisions, processes and outcomes."

Hospitals & Health Networks conducted the 2005 survey in cooperation with Accenture, IDX Systems Corporation and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME).

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