July 20, 2004

Rosann Giordano-Thompson
(215) 349-5964


University of Pennsylvania Health System Among the "Most Wired” in the Nation

(Philadelphia, PA) – The University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS) has been named one of the nation’s “Most Wired” according to the 2004 Most Wired Survey and Benchmarking Study, released by Hospitals & Health Networks magazine.

“Better communication of information –via electronic medical records -- is an essential medical tool for health care workers,” says George Brenckle, PhD, Chief Information Officer of UPHS. “A ‘wired’ system enables us to collect, store, protect and communicate important patient information seamlessly and confidentially. Our patients can feel confident in our abilities to care for them while respecting their privacy.”

The survey was conducted by Hospitals & Health Networks, the journal of the American Hospital Association, in cooperation with IDX Systems Corporation and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME). It measures the nation’s hospitals on their use of Internet technologies for quality, customer service, public health and safety, business processes and workforce issues. According to the results of the survey, the nation’s 100 Most Wired hospitals and health systems are making significant progress automating the four key components of the electronic medical record – current medical records, medical history, patient demographics and nurses notes.

“These hospitals realize the power of the electronic medical record to improve quality, safety and the patient experience,” says Alden Solovy, executive editor of Hospitals & Health Networks. “They are emphasizing clinical quality and patient services in their efforts to remain technology leaders.”

Analysis from this year’s survey results shows:

· 90% of the Most Wired provide access to the current medical record online;
· 87% offer access to the online medical history;
· 88% offer online access to patient demographics; and
· 69% offer online access to nurses’ notes.

In addition, these hospitals are taking the lead in providing electronic medical records for clinician review. Of the 2004 Most Wired hospitals:

· 88% offer online lab results review;
· 90% offer online radiology report review; and
· 84% have radiology image review.

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 & Rural. This year, as the result of a tie, 101 organizations are being recognized as the nation’s Most Wired hospitals and health systems.


PENN Medicine is a $2.5 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 (created in 1993 as the nation’s first integrated academic health system).

Penn’s School of Medicine is ranked #3 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.

This release is available online at http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/july04/MostWired.htm