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WVU Healthcare ranks among nation’s Most Wired hospitals

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – For the first time, WVU Healthcare has been named to the Most Wired list of hospitals and health systems in the United States. With this designation, WVU Healthcare joins a select group of providers using the most advanced information technology available to deliver excellent care. The lists are based on level of achievement in four focus areas: clinical quality and safety, care continuum, infrastructure and business and administrative management. Hospitals and health systems participate in the survey on a voluntary basis. “In addition to other criteria, WVU Healthcare demonstrated ways we are moving our use of technology ahead,” Rich King, WVUH vice president and chief information officer, said. “Medications are now ordered electronically, allowing unprecedented speed and accuracy. We’re protecting information through the use of encryption. If our computer systems experience an outage, data can be restored quickly.” “Most Wired hospitals far outpace other facilities in these areas. It all comes down to doing everything in our power to improve the health and protect the personal information of our patients,” King continued. In recent years, WVU Healthcare has steadily implemented information systems designed to improve patient outcomes through greater accuracy, accessibility and security. The introductions of Merlin, the electronic medical records project, and MyWVUChart, the online portal that allows patients to view their own medical records, have proven to be major advances in patient safety and quality of care. More than 12,000 patients now access MyWVUChart, and the Merlin system links WVU Healthcare’s many clinics. “Merlin has made a tremendous impact on quality and patient safety,” Niti Armistead, M.D., WVU Healthcare associate chief medical officer and chief quality officer, said. “Clinicians system-wide now have patients’ complete and up-to-date medical histories and medication information readily available to them. This enables care providers to make better decisions for patients.” Approximately 1,388 hospitals are represented in the 530 surveys submitted for the 2011 Most Wired Survey. Now in its 13th year, the survey rates the Most Wired, Most Wired – Small and Rural, Most Wireless and Most Improved. As new technology has been integrated into daily clinical use, WVU Healthcare had previously been recognized as one of the country’s Most Improved centers for the past two years. The results of the annual survey were released this week in the July issue of “Hospitals and Health Networks,” the journal of the American Hospital Association. For more information on the Most Wired lists, see www.hhnmostwired.com. For more information on WVU Healthcare, see www.wvuhealthcare.com.   [...]

Bonnie’s Bus offers mammograms July 20 and 21 in Marlinton

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Bonnie’s Bus, a digital mammography center on wheels, will visit Pocahontas County, offering digital mammograms and breast care education to women. A service of WVU Healthcare, Bonnie’s Bus will be at Pocahontas Memorial Hospital in Marlinton from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, July 20 and Thursday, July 21.   The mammograms are billed to insurance, Medicaid or Medicare if available. Mammograms for women who do not have insurance will be covered by the West Virginia Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program or through special grant funds. A physician’s order is needed for a mammogram. For a Bonnie’s Bus appointment call the Pocahontas County Health Department at 304-799-4154. Last year, Bonnie’s Bus made 65 visits in 30 counties throughout West Virginia providing mammography screening to nearly 800 women. Many of those screened are uninsured or underinsured and qualified for screening through the Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program. The goal for this year is to screen at least 1,200 women. Bonnie’s Bus works in collaboration with a statewide partnership of women’s groups, clinicians, public health professionals and other community leaders working to help reduce the number of deaths from breast cancer in West Virginia.  Made possible by a generous gift from West Virginia natives Jo and Ben Statler to WVU’s Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, Bonnie’s Bus is operated by WVU Hospitals. The bus is named after Mrs. Statler’s late mother, Bonnie Wells Wilson. For information on Bonnie’s Bus, see www.wvucancer.org/bonnie. Attention reporters and editors: If you are interested in covering Bonnie’s Bus when it visits your area, please call the HSC News Service in Morgantown at 304-293-7087 in advance. Out of respect for patient privacy, please do not show up at the location without scheduling an appropriate time for interviews and/or photos.   [...]

Morgantown girl begins fundraiser to benefit brain cancer research and patient comfort

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – With high school graduation recently behind them, many a teenager is pondering what path his or her life will take as they draw ever closer to adulthood.  But one Morgantown High School graduate has begun a journey of a different sort, one that she neither anticipated nor hoped for. It started back in January when 18-year-old Erin (Poppy) Polak learned that her aunt, Erin Dunmire, had been diagnosed with brain cancer. “I remember the moment like it happened just today,” Polak said. “It’s burned and engraved in my mind. Sometimes, it almost haunts me.” The word “cancer” evoked feelings of anger, hurt, fear and confusion, yet Polak found solace in a quote her aunt has long preached to her: “Life is a journey. Not a destination. Enjoy the moments.” “My aunt has tried to get me to understand these words and the meaning behind them for as long as I can remember,” Polak said. “It took a brain tumor and a little bit of God for me to actually understand what I’m supposed to do with this advice.” Polak has started a “Let the Journey Begin” project to raise money to support brain cancer research and patient comfort at the West Virginia University Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center. She’s raised more than $1,400 so far by selling bracelets bearing her aunt’s quote to schoolmates, friends and family members and has set a goal of at least $25,000, the amount needed to establish a research endowment. The bracelets are yellow and gray. Yellow is Erin Dunmire’s favorite color and gray is the color associated with brain cancer. The bracelets are $1 apiece and are for sale at the Friends Gift Shop in Ruby Memorial Hospital. Dunmire’s goddaughter, Megan Murdock, is also teaming up on the project. “I want people to know the things I learned from Aunt E,” Murdock said. “She’s been so strong throughout all this.” With the help of their aunt, the girls are working on other ways they can raise money for the Let the Journey Begin Fund, including a letter-writing campaign and selling T-shirts.  What does Dunmire think of their efforts? “These girls understand what’s important in life, and they get it at a young age,” she said. “It hits me to the core. At times it has stopped my breath. It’s one of those magical moments, very powerful.” Dunmire had surgery at WVU Hospitals to remove the tumor from her brain and went back to work as director of customer service at the hospital three weeks later. She is continuing her treatment at WVU and said she feels great. “Dr. (Julian) Bailes got the entire tumor out. His skill and kindness were impressive. Dr. (Alejandro) Torres-Trejo, my neuro-oncologist, was just flat out wonderful. He never flinches at questions we ask.” Dunmire said it is important to her and her nieces that all money raised from the Let the Journey Begin project stay here at home.  “Making money to go to the research of brain cancer is great, and I hope people will donate,” Polak added. “But more importantly, I hope people will pass my aunt’s message along from person to person. I want it to help them and give hope to others as it has done for me. I want them to treasure all the moments they have.” Dunmire said she hopes that others battling brain cancer will remember to take loved ones with them through their journey and will appreciate the simple things in life, like a beautiful sunset, a full moon or a rainbow.  “That’s really what it’s all about,” she said. For information on the Let the Journey Begin Fund, call 304-293-3711.  To make an online donation go to www.wvucancer.org/giving and click on the “make a gift” package. Photo caption: Erin (Poppy) Polak (right) started the Let the Journey Begin Fund in honor of her aunt, Erin Dunmire (center). Megan Murdock (left), Dunmire’s goddaughter, is also part of the project, which supports brain cancer research and patient comfort at WVU. [...]

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