InformationWeek names Community a top 500 technology innovator

Community Medical Centers made this year’s InformationWeek 500 – a list of top technology innovators in the U.S. According to InformationWeek magazine, this year’s theme is digital business rooted in data analytics, mobile computing, social networking and other customer-focused technologies.

“Every enterprise is now a digital business – or needs to become one fast. The organizations in our ranking are leading the way,” said Rob Preston, InformationWeek editor-in-chief. Community was recognized for innovative use in integrating the Epic electronic health records (EHR) system in its hospitals and for more than 120 physicians in the Fresno/ Clovis area. Community completed implementation of the Epic EHR in its three hospitals and the Deran Koligian Ambulatory Care Center in October 2012.

“Community Medical Centers’ use of technology to create ‘one patient-one  record’ is providing physicians ‘anywhere-access’ to information to enable better care for their patients whether they are in the hospital or in a private physicians’ office” said George Vasquez, senior vice president and chief information officer at Community.

Senior Network Engineer Eric Rystad checks computer servers for systems that help make Community Medical Centers among the top technology innovators.

The Epic EHR manages clinical data and helps Community improve patient care and safety through a universally accessible health record. Switching to the Epic EHR makes all of a patient’s information from hospital procedures, diagnostic tests and outpatient visits available in the same database and accessible whenever and wherever the patient needs care – making it easier for clinicians to have access to the right information at the right time.

Implementing the Epic EHR in physician offices means critical results necessary to provide quality care are now available to caregivers whether that information was entered in a hospital setting or in a physician’s office. Equally important, if a patient visits an emergency room, hospital physicians can now access the patient’s history as documented by their primary care physician. And the ability to electronically enter an order for medications is eliminating the need to read handwriting – thereby improving patient safety.

Implementation in physician offices required purchasing new hardware, mobile exam room computers and extensive software. Wireless computers on carts and portable devices such as iPads were also added and wireless networks were extended throughout the physician offices. Training and ongoing support teams were established to make sure that physicians could rapidly learn the system.

InformationWeek identifies and honors the nation's most innovative users of information technology with its annual
InformationWeek 500 listing, and also tracks the technology, strategies, investments, and administrative practices of some of the best‚Äźknown organizations in the country.

The InformationWeek 500 can be found at informationweek.com/500.

Jennifer Avila-Allen reported this story. She can be reached at MedWatchToday@CommunityMedical.org.