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July 21, 2005

University of Pennsylvania Health System Recognized
as Among Nation’s “Most Wired” for Fifth Year


(Philadelphia, PA) – For the fifth year in a row, the University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS) has been named one of top 100 Most Wired Hospitals by Hospitals & Health Networks, which is published by the American Hospital Association. The survey found that nation's “most wired” hospitals and health systems have, on average, risk-adjusted mortality rates that are 7.2 percent lower than other hospitals and often simultaneously use information technology (IT) to eliminate specific errors and as well as create general improvements in care.

“We’re extremely proud that the University of Pennsylvania Health System has again been recognized as one of the leaders in healthcare information technology,” says George Brenckle, PhD, Chief Information Officer of UPHS. “Merely adopting IT is not enough in order to truly improve patient care. We ensure that technology is combined with clinical process improvements as well as a culture of safety in order to realize the full benefits to our patients.”

According to the results of this year’s survey, the nation’s 100 Most Wired hospitals and health systems use a wider array of IT tools to address quality and safety than other organizations. The Most Wired hospitals have greater use of computerized physician order entry (CPOE) systems by clinical staff, and also have significantly larger percentages of physicians entering orders themselves. Using IT, they conduct a larger percentage of clinical transactions, such as the number of doses ordered and the number of medications matched to the patient. There is also pervasive use of electronic alerts by physicians, nurses, and pharmacists, and the most technologically-advanced hospitals have linked clinical alerting with electronic surveillance. In short, IT is in high gear across a broad range of goals: reducing errors, increasing the use of evidence-based medicine, fixing processes, and improving outcomes.

Each year since 1999, Hospitals & Health Networks (H&HN) has surveyed the nation's hospitals on their use of information technology to accomplish key goals, including safety and quality objectives. Based on a detailed scoring process, H&HN annually names the 100 Most Wired Hospitals and Health Systems. The 2005 Hospitals & Health Networks' Most Wired Survey and Benchmarking Study is a joint project of H&HN, IDX Systems Corp., Accenture, and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives. This year, 502 hospitals and health systems representing 1,255 hospitals participated in the survey. Each survey was scored using a methodology that emphasizes the use of IT for patients and customers, with 60 percent of the points allocated among the three related sections of the survey: safety and quality, customer service, and public health and safety. The remaining 40 percent of the points target hospital operational goals: workforce and business processes.

The winners will be profiled in the Summer 2005 edition of H&HN's Most Wired Magazine, which will be mailed in August. All winners will be recognized at the 2005 Health Forum Summit, July 28-30, in San Diego.

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PENN Medicine is a $2.7 billion enterprise dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and high-quality patient care. PENN Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

Penn’s School of Medicine is ranked #2 in the nation for receipt of NIH research funds; and ranked #4 in the nation in U.S. News & World Report’s most recent ranking of top research-oriented medical schools. Supporting 1,400 fulltime faculty and 700 students, the School of Medicine is recognized worldwide for its superior education and training of the next generation of physician-scientists and leaders of academic medicine.

Penn Health System is comprised of: its flagship hospital, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, consistently rated one of the nation’s “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation's first hospital; Presbyterian Medical Center; a faculty practice plan; a primary-care provider network; two multispecialty satellite facilities; and home health care and hospice.

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