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Aurora Medical Group receives national honor

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Award from the American Medical Group Association praises excellence in service, quality, innovation and community commitment

Aurora Health Care's medical group has received a national award for excellence from the American Medical Group Association in recognition of its accomplishments in the areas of quality, service and innovation.

In announcing the 2006 American Medical Group Preeminence Award, the association praised Aurora Medical Group's "quality-based, unified culture" and its focus on excellence, service, respect, teamwork and accountability.

The association commended the leadership of Eliot Huxley, M.D., senior vice president and chairman of the board of Aurora Medical Group, and James Brannon, vice president of operations and chief operating officer. The two men have "led Aurora to excel in service standards, revenue growth and patient loyalty," the announcement said.

Dr. Huxley spent 16 years as president of Aurora Medical Group before being named to his current role in January 2006. Brannon joined Aurora Medical Group in 1996.

The American Medical Group Preeminence Award is presented annually to medical groups that display exceptional leadership; innovation and vision; contributions to the advancement of quality; effective health care delivery practices and structure; and outstanding contributions to the community in which they are located.

"Aurora Medical Group shows what talented clinicians can achieve when they put patients first and every day demonstrate their dedication and integrity," said Jeffrey W. Bailet, M.D., president of Aurora Medical Group. "It's particularly gratifying to be recognized for our commitment to community as well as our commitment to innovative practices."

Among the Aurora Medical Group accomplishments cited in the award nomination were:

  • Increased from a single 3-physician clinic in 1992 to a group of 94 clinics with more than 650 physicians across eastern Wisconsin.
  • An integrated electronic prescription process that generated 2.5 million electronic prescriptions from January 2004 to March 2005, preventing an estimated 106,226 prescription errors.
  • Helped implement an electronic health record system integrated with the 13 hospitals in the Aurora system.
  • Used structured communication and partnership to overcome the challenges of being a medical group spread over five large geographic regions, and formed a successful regional physician-administrator model.
  • Established the first Planetree clinics in the U.S. and created a Planetree handbook that is used nationally. The Planetree model emphasizes patient-centered care.
  • Championed the Aurora Employees Partnership Campaign, which raises money for the United Way and other causes. Aurora Medical Group physicians and employees donated $448,861 through the campaign in 2005.

Aurora Medical Group was one of three groups receiving the Preeminence Award March 18 during the national association's annual conference in San Antonio. The other groups were the Ochsner Clinic Foundation of New Orleans and the Permanente Medical Group of Oakland, Calif.

Donald W. Fisher, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of the American Medical Group Association, said recipients of the Preeminence Award prove "what professionals dedicated to medical group practice can achieve to better serve their patients and their organizations."

The American Medical Group Association represents medical groups, including some of the nation's largest, most prestigious integrated health care systems. Members deliver care to more than 50 million patients in 42 states. The association advocates for the medical group model and for patients through innovation and information sharing, benchmarking and leadership development.

Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit Wisconsin health care provider and a national leader in efforts to improve the quality of health care. Aurora offers care at sites in more than 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin.

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Contact: Jeff Squire (414-647-3408)

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