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Aurora Health Care Named Among "Most Wired" Providers for Sixth Consecutive Year

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Milwaukee, Wis. -- Aurora Health Care has been named one of the Most Wired health care providers for the sixth consecutive year by Hospitals & Health Networks Magazine. Aurora is the only southeastern Wisconsin health care system to receive the recognition.

The 100 Most Wired hospitals have higher patient satisfaction scores, lower risk-adjusted mortality rates and better results on other key quality measures because of their use of information technology, according to a new analysis.

Philip Loftus, Aurora vice president and chief information officer, said the six consecutive honors "demonstrate Aurora's commitment and belief that information technology can contribute effectively to the quality of care and safety of our patients, lead to quicker access of health information that improves care and helps reduce costs."

Loftus credited Judy Murphy, RN, vice president of electronic health record applications, and Mike Gorczynski, DO, director of medical informatics, for recognizing the value of information technology in health care and helping Aurora become among the first to embrace electronic health records. As this award demonstrates, the breadth and depth of implementation of electronic systems to support inpatient and outpatient care at Aurora is wide and deep.

In May, Murphy was named to the Health Information Technology Standards Committee, a national group helping to establish standards and criteria for implementing electronic health records across the country, as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to stimulate health care reform.

Loftus said that Aurora continues to move ahead on new projects to improve the patient experience and involve patients in managing their own health care. "We are focusing on using electronic systems to make it easier for patients to access information that is important to them. Three years ago, we introduced the ability to view and pay bills, and we've just implemented a system to allow patients to make appointments online. In addition, we've begun a process that will give patients the ability to look at their lab results online."

Such programs have garnered positive patient feedback. "This is something we're going to see continuing to grow rapidly over the next few years," Loftus said. "It's all part of our commitment to make it easier for patients to access the information and services that are essential to improving their health and well-being."

The Most Wired Survey is conducted annually by Hospitals & Health Networks magazine, the journal of the American Hospital Association, which uses the results to name the 100 Most Wired hospitals and health systems. It focuses on how the nation's hospitals use information technologies for quality, customer service, public health and safety, business processes and workforce issues.

Hospitals & Health Networks conducted the 2009 survey in cooperation with McKesson Corp., the American Hospital Association and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives. The July H&HN cover story detailing results is available at www.hhnmag.com.

About the Most Wired Survey and Benchmarking Study
Hospitals & Health Networks, the journal of the American Hospital Association, conducts the voluntary Most Wired Survey and Benchmarking Study annually and names the 100 Most Wired.
McKesson Corporation is the world's largest healthcare services, technology and automation company.

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives was formed with the dual objective of serving the professional development needs of healthcare chief information officers and advocating the more effective use of information management within health care.

About Aurora Health Care
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: Sue Pierman
414-647-6432
sue.pierman@aurora.org

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