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August 30, 2001

UPMC wins "wired" honors

UPMC Health System has again been named one of the 100 Most Wired hospitals and health systems in the United States by Hospitals & Health Networks, the journal of the American Hospital Association. UPMC has been recognized each of the three years the magazine has been sponsoring the awards.

The designation is based on a survey developed in conjunction with Deloitte Consulting and McKessonHBOC, which polled the nation's health care systems on their use of Internet technologies to connect with patients, physicians, payers, health plans and employees.

According to Hospitals & Health Networks, Most Wired hospitals and health systems provide more Internet-based services and have better control of expenses, higher productivity and more efficient utilization management. Most Wired hospitals also tend to have significantly higher credit ratings.

"We truly believe that information technology can not only improve access to patient care and enable the sharing of medical information, but it can help in the delivery of better care as well," said Dan Drawbaugh, chief information officer of UPMC Health System. "To that end, it is our goal to make electronic patient-doctor interaction commonplace throughout our health system."

UPMC Health System is invested in an ongoing information technology initiative designed to improve the quality of patient care, to reduce errors and duplication of services and to be a more cost-effective system. The centerpiece of the initiative is the development of an electronic health record to be integrated across the entire system, representing the full continuum of care, including 16 hospitals, 225 physician practices throughout western Pennsylvania and several nursing, personal care and long-term care facilities.

Other features of the initiative involve the development and system-wide deployment of technologies that impact access to care, such as scheduling of appointments, registration for clinical services and insurance eligibility management; business practices, including billing, claims and contract management; and resource planning, such as purchasing, materials management and payroll.

"We have committed $500 million to upgrading and developing technologies to meet the needs of our clinical staff, our business units and, most importantly, our patients," Drawbaugh said.

Filed under: Feature,Volume 34 Issue 1

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