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Sentara Norfolk General Hospital Named Most Wired 

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Electronic Medical Record adoption has helped hospital provide better, safer patient care. 

NORFOLK, VA (July 20, 2010) - Sentara Norfolk General Hospital has been named one of the nation's Most Wired Hospitals and Health Systems, according to results of the 2010 Most Wired Survey and Benchmarking Study. These results were published in the July issue of the American Hospital Association's Hospitals & Health Networks (H&HN) magazine.

Hospitals are named to the list based on a detailed scoring process. The survey evaluates how hospitals use information technology to address five key areas: safety and quality, customer service, business processes, workforce and public health and safety.

“Technology plays an increasingly important role in the delivery and improvement of patient care,” says Sentara Vice President and Chief Information Officer Bert Reese. 

The "most wired" hospitals use computers to enable physicians to check or order patient tests and enter medication orders electronically, and to enable patients to perform billing functions via computer.  Among the reasons Sentara Norfolk General Hospital was included on the list was its investment in an electronic medical record system, Sentara eCare®.

Early results help illustrate just how dramatic the Sentara eCare® impact has been. Sentara has been able to document more efficient care with physician order entry statistics over 85% and reductions of two thirds in the delivery times of inpatient medications. 

Sentara’s $237 million investment to change the model of healthcare in the region was born from a vision to connect a patient’s medical history in real time across sites of care. With Sentara eCare®, a patient’s complete medical record from their primary care physician — all the tests and history of their care — is available to hospital staff and doctors. Outpatient imaging results, care during inpatient hospital stays, and emergency room visits are now being documented as they happen.

“There is no question that Sentara eCare® technology has a positive impact on improving patient care,” adds Reese.  “We are better able to promote best practices, avoid adverse drug interactions and for the first time identify trends in real time that will help us make improvements moving forward.”

In March of this year, HIMSS Analytics, a company that collects and analyzes healthcare data related to IT processes and environments, announced Sentara Healthcare as a recipient of its Stage 7 Award. The national recognition represents attainment of the highest level of Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model SM (EMRAM). Sentara Chief Executive Officer David Bernd was also recently awarded the CEO IT Award by Modern Healthcare magazine because of the vision and success of Sentara eCare®.

While dramatic, implementing the electronic medical record technology is still only step one for Sentara, adds Reese.   

“Sentara eCare® allows physicians a better ability to study the trends in healthcare and make resulting changes to the way care is delivered,” he says. “This transformation in the way we deliver care is helping Sentara ensure the highest quality and safest patient environment.”

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Related Links:
Sentara Norfolk General Hospital
Sentara eCare® Electronic Medical Record System

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