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Sentara Tops Modern Healthcare List of Integrated Healthcare Systems for Second Consecutive Year 

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Clinical integration, technology and sound management contribute to ranking

NORFOLK, VA (January 24, 2011) - For the second year in a row, Sentara Healthcare has been ranked as the top most Integrated Healthcare System in the nation according to SDI and Modern Healthcare Magazine.

Watch a video of how we are celebrating the top ranking!



How do Sentara employees celebrate our ranking as the number one integrated healthcare system in the country?
 We dance, of course!

Love the video? Download the Sentara Healthcare theme song ringtone!

The only healthcare system in the country to be among the nation's top 10 for all 14 years of the survey, Sentara has landed at number one in 2001 and consecutively in 2010 and 2011. SDI is a healthcare analytics company that conducts and annual assessment of the 100 most highly integrated healthcare networks (IHNs). SDI's report is regarded as the nation's premier rating system by evaluating IHNs on their performance and degree of integration.

“This recognition looks at Sentara Healthcare as a whole system – with every division and all our employees performance contributing to the ranking,” says David Bernd, CEO of Sentara Healthcare. “Our collective achievements factor into the success that ranks us among the nation’s best. That is teamwork at its best.”

Measuring eight performance indicators, the survey looks at measures of clinical integration, technology integration, utilization and services offered. With the country in recession and the national cost of healthcare on the rise, one of the metrics that has carried the greatest weight in recent years was financial stability.

As an integrated healthcare system Sentara provides services that cover in and outpatient healthcare services, including physician practices, advanced imaging and diagnostics, long term care, home healthcare services, medical transport and air ambulance services, as well as a 430,000 member health plan, Optima Health.

Sentara credits its decision to invest millions in the implementation of Sentara eCare®, its electronic medical record system, as evidence that investment in quality costs less in the long run. Sentara eCare® has been implemented in hospitals and Sentara Medical Group physician practices in recent years and has been instrumental in helping to achieve success as an integrated health system.

Another significant aspect to Sentara eCare® implementation hinged on the idea that Sentara decided early on to utilize clinical staff to help design and build the electronic health system.

“By tapping into the intellectual capital of the employee base, we were able to design a system that truly enhances patient care” added Bernd.

Managing through the recession has meant greater emphasis on expense control for employees throughout the system. Job preservation has also been a key component of Sentara management's strategy, with no employee layoffs and greatest emphasis on delivering innovative, quality healthcare.

Bernd adds, “Our philosophy has been consistent for many years – delivering quality care costs less and allows us to focus our efforts toward one common goal.”

In spite of the economy, Sentara has successfully extended its reach to markets outside of the Hampton Roads area to capitalize on new opportunities to gain efficiency and improve quality. In recent years the system has integrated Potomac Hospital in northern Virginia and has announced plans to integrate with Rockingham Memorial Hospital in Harrisonburg, Virginia and Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Virginia. Sentara also remains engaged in a management contract with Carteret Hospital in Moorehead City, North Carolina.

Sentara also continued to achieve significant quality milestones with 'Network' accreditation from the American College of Surgeons' Commission on Cancer; national recognition for its hospital acquired infection rates; and national top 50 ranking for cardiac care in US News and World Report.

Read the full article in Modern Healthcare

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