Norman- Norman Regional Health System has been named one of the nation’s Most Wired, Most Improved Health Systems for the second year in a row.

Results for the 2010 Most Wired Survey and Benchmarking Study are in the July issue of Hospital & Health Networks magazine. Only four hospitals in Oklahoma received the distinction.

In the past year, the Health System’s Information Technology department has been very busy. In addition to electronically equipping a 400,000 square foot state-of-the-art specialty hospital, the IT department further enhanced Electronic Medical Records for both the hospital and physicians.

Other completed projects include:

· Going live with Computerized Physician Order Entry: a key component to increasing patient safety. CPOE can decrease delay in order complication, reduces errors related to handwriting, allows order entry at point-of-care or off-site and provides error checking.

· Installed fiber optic cable between hospital facilities (approximately a six-mile distance).

· Created and installed mobile tool so physicians can access Meditech & ambulatory records through their smart phones.

· Launched local Electronic Health Exchange to facility-coordinated patient care and safety between provider locations and hospital locations within the Health System.

· Met a 74 percent adoption rate of Electronic Health Records by all physicians practicing in the Norman area.

“Quite frankly, when you stop and reflect all that was accomplished in the last year by the department, it is astonishing,” said John Meharg, director of information technology services. “This much work can only be accomplished with dedicated, highly motivated and team oriented staff. We are very fortunate to have employees that are willing to take on such challenges and put in the necessary time to ensure success.”

The Obama administration incorporated mandatory technology upgrades into the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and authorized billions of dollars to help hospitals and physicians go digital and penalties for those that do not.

“The federal government has created numerous financial incentives for hospitals and physicians to fully implement electronic medical record systems,” NRHS Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Greg Terrell said. “For Norman Regional Health System, these incentive payments could allow us to recoup up to $8.1 million of the approximate $20 million investment we have made in electronic medical record system development over the past several years.”

This year, 1,280 hospitals completed the survey. The Most Wired Survey is conducted annually by Hospital and Health Networks magazine, the American Hospital Association, McKeeson Corporation and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives.

The survey focuses on how the nation’s hospitals use information technology for patient safety and quality, customer service, business process improvement, workforce management and public health and safety.

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