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Aurora Health Care named among Most Wired Providers for seventh consecutive year

Monday, July 26, 2010

Milwaukee, Wis. -- Aurora Health Care has been named one of the Most Wired health care providers for the seventh consecutive year by Hospitals & Health Networks Magazine. Aurora is the only southeastern Wisconsin health care system to receive this 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 PhD., Aurora vice president and chief information officer, said the seven consecutive honors "reflect Aurora's long-term commitment to the belief that information technology contributes effectively to the quality of patient care and safety, and the reduction of overall healthcare costs."

Loftus said that Aurora continues to enhance its use of electronic health records. At the new Aurora Medical Center at Summit, more than 90 percent of physician orders are entered electronically, eliminating errors in reading handwritten orders and transcribing them, among the highest reported values for U.S. hospitals. Patient medications are also validated by the nurse at the bedside by scanning a bar-code on the patient's wristband and one on the medication enabling the computer to confirm that the drug being administered is the correct drug, in the right form, for the right patient, at the right time.

Patients can also pay bills on-line, make clinic appointments and, in a new pilot, see their lab results. Such programs have garnered positive patient feedback. "This is something we're going to see 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."

Loftus also 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 to become one of the first to embrace the use of electronic health records. As this award demonstrates, electronic medical records are used extensively throughout Aurora hospitals and clinics.

Murphy serves on 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.

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 work force issues.

Hospitals & Health Networks conducted the 2010 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.

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.

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: Myrle Croasdale
Phone: 414 389-2210

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