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July 10, 2012

Use of technology to enhance care earns national recognition

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For its use of technology to upgrade patient care – including the installation of an electronic medical record – University of Virginia Health System received a 2012 “Most Wired” award from Hospitals & Health Networks magazine.

The award measures how well hospitals implement and use technology in four areas, including clinical quality and safety as well as coordination of care.

“This award is a measure of our commitment to improving the patient care experience and related outcomes and demonstrates our continued desire to enhance quality,” says Mark Andersen, interim chief technology and health information officer.

UVA largely earned this award, Andersen says, based on the implementation of EpicCare, its electronic medical record system, along with the existing use of technology in other activities such as benefits, payroll and supply chain. Before the introduction of EpicCare, multiple electronic and paper record systems were used, meaning doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers couldn’t easily access all the information needed to provide the best care for patients.

Rolled out at outpatient clinics in September 2010 and on inpatient units in March 2011, EpicCare gathers patient information in a single database accessible anywhere UVA provides care and also makes it easier for patients to reach out to their healthcare team.

“EpicCare helps to ensure that all relevant patient information is accessible to the provider at the time of care and allows patients, through the use of MyChart, to communicate directly with their physicians’ offices,” Andersen says.

UVA was one of 215 hospitals nationally to receive the award. More information about the “Most Wired” award is available in the July 2012 issue of Hospitals & Health Networks.

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