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UC Davis Named Leader in Health IT

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(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) - For a third consecutive year, UC Davis Health System has been designated as one of the nation's health leaders in information technology. The designation is based on the results of the 2013 "Most Wired Survey and Benchmarking Study" published in the July issue of Hospitals & Health Networks magazine.

The annual survey, now in its 15th year, assesses how hospitals use information technology to address and enhance patient safety, quality of care, public health, administrative processes and workforce decisions. This year, 1,713 hospitals, or 30 percent of all hospitals in the nation, participated in the survey.

UC Davis is one of 289 institutions in the nation - and one of 14 in California - to receive the Most Wired award in 2013. For the first time this year, two other University of California health campuses, UC San Diego and UC Los Angeles, also will receive the designation. The awards, including 50 for 'Most Improved' or 'Most Wired - Small or Rural' hospitals, will be presented at the annual Health Forum and American Hospital Association Leadership Summit later this month in San Diego.

"UC Davis Health System has had a long-standing commitment to developing excellence in its clinical software technology and infrastructure and has made significant investments to maintain and improve our quality of patient care as well as better address the costs of care," said Michael Minear, chief information officer for the health system.

Minear noted that in December 2012, UC Davis Medical Center was recognized for its achievements in electronic medical records (EMR) implementation, earning Stage 7 of the EMR adoption model from HIMSS Analytics - the research arm of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). The Stage 7 award is the highest level of the HIMSS Electronic Medical Records Adoption Model, which is used to track EMR progress at hospitals and health systems around the nation and world. The award, an independent assessment of how well UC Davis had leveraged its clinical technology, placed UC Davis in the top 1.8 percent of the more than 5,400 hospitals nationwide in terms of EMR use.

"Being designated as a top information technology institution is possible only when everyone in the organization works together and makes a commitment to delivering excellence in the use of clinical information technology," said Minear. "An honor such as 'Most Wired,' as well as the HIMSS Stage 7 designation, reflect the culture of the health system. New technologies help us serve our patients more effectively and with ever-increasing degrees of safety."

Along with having all of its clinical content, including clinical images, online and available to clinicians through secure access, UC Davis is a leader in using a secure online system to share medical information between different health providers. In 2011, UC Davis and Sutter Health became the first providers in the region to electronically exchange medical records to enhance patient care. Earlier this year, UC Davis became one of only 14 care providers in the nation to become full members of Healtheway, a national health information exchange (HIE) network created in late 2012 to pilot HIE. UC Davis has leveraged its connection to Healtheway to share more than 1,100 patient records with the U.S. Social Security Administration, and it has converted its interface with the local Dignity Health hospitals to operate on the national Healtheway network, which allows the sharing of more than 864 patient records.

UC Davis is using information technology to advance health-related research as well. A leader in the secondary use of EMR data, UC Davis has been using software to de-identify patient information, allowing physicians to define cohorts of patient groups to study chronic disease, cancer, cardiac conditions, trauma care, and many other areas in population health and health care. UC Davis Health System also has pioneered a unique Tethered Meta Registry, where EMR data is loaded to create population data sets. These new clinical registries are also facilitating the management of patient care for cancer, diabetes, radiation dose, and burns and in primary care medical home populations.

Background on "Most Wired"

Hospitals & Health Networks magazine, a publication of the American Hospital Association, compiles its "Most Wired" list annually using survey results from hospitals and health systems throughout the United States. Participating organizations are surveyed for use of IT in four focus areas: Infrastructure; Business and Administrative Management; Clinical Quality and Safety (inpatient/outpatient hospital); and Care Continuum (ambulatory/physician/community).

Organizations whose responses reflect core development across all four areas are designated as "Most Wired." A full list of award winners can be found online at www.hhnmag.com.