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July 15, 2003

University of Pennsylvania Health System Among the "Most Wired" In Nation

(Philadelphia, PA) - The University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS) has been named one of the nation's "Most Wired" according to the 2003 Most Wired Survey and Benchmarking Study, released today by Hospitals & Health Networks magazine.

"Information has become an essential medical tool for our healthcare workers - every bit as important to patient care as any other diagnostic device," said George Brenckle, PhD, Chief Information Officer of UPHS. "It is our goal to facilitate the seamless processing and retrieval of patient information and allow our patients to feel confident in our abilities to care for them while respecting their privacy."

The survey was conducted by Hospitals & Health Networks, in cooperation with McKesson Corporation and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). It measures the nation's hospitals on their use of Internet technologies for safety and quality, customer service, disaster readiness, business processes and workforce issues.

"Hospitals are empowering patients with information and providing tools to doctors and nurses to improve quality," says Alden Solovy, executive editor of Hospitals & Health Networks, the journal of the American Hospital Association, which has named the 100 Most Wired hospitals and health systems annually for five years.

The 100 Most Wired are providing Web-based patient education at the bedside, disease-specific self-assessments online and are linking clinical equipment to feed patient readings directly into the medical record. "Patient care is at the heart of these initiatives," Solovy says. "The nation's 100 Most Wired hospitals are emphasizing clinical quality and patient services in their efforts to remain technology leaders."

Analysis from this year's survey results shows:

Most Wired hospitals are using Web-based technologies to feed readings from clinical equipment directly into the medical record.

  • 70% of Most Wired organizations push readings from cardiac function monitors to medical records.
  • 71% of Most Wired organizations push blood glucose monitor readings to medical records. Most Wired hospitals continue their drive to make customer services available via the Internet.
  • 42% provide preregistration.
  • 87% provide physician referrals.
  • 53% provide appointment scheduling.

Most Wired hospitals are deploying electronic disease surveillance systems.

  • 55% have partially electronic methods of disease surveillance.
  • 26% have fully electronic methods of disease surveillance.

Results from the survey were used to name the 100 Most Wired, the 25 Most Improved, the 25 Most Wireless and the 25 Most Wired-Small and Rural. More than 400 health systems responded to the survey, representing 1,128 hospitals or 19 percent of U.S. hospitals.


PENN Medicine is a $2.2 billion enterprise dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and 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 (created in 1993 as the nation's first integrated academic 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 1400 fulltime faculty and 700 students, Penn's 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's Health System consists of four hospitals (including its flagship Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, consistently rated one of the nation's "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report); a faculty practice plan, a primary-care provider network, three multispecialty satellite facilities, and home healthcare and hospice.




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