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WVU Cystic Fibrosis Center ranked in nation’s top 10

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Thanks to a multi-disciplinary team approach to patient care, the [...]

WVU School of Dentistry to honor veterans with Red, White, and Blue Day

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – In recognition of military veterans and those currently serving, the [...]

WVU Health Sciences schools and Kuwaiti government announce educational partnership

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – For 15 years, students from Kuwait have been coming to the [...]

Paperless progress: WVU Healthcare awarded for e-records transition, use, management

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Rooms crowded with shelves of bulging orange file folders of patient records on Ruby Memorial Hospital’s first floor are now a distant memory, and the use of electronic medical records is a proven, effective way to streamline patient care while protecting personal health information. Now, WVU Healthcare’s flagship hospital and associated outpatient clinics have been recognized as national leaders at the forefront of successfully putting new records technology to work, earning HIMSS Analytics’ highest benchmark, their Electronic Medical Records Adoption Model (EMRAM) Stage 7 Award.   Just over two percent of health care organizations nationwide have achieved this designation, with separate award categories for hospitals and outpatient clinics. WVU Healthcare is only the fifth organization in the country to receive Stage 7 recognition for both, and is the lone health provider in West Virginia to reach this status. HIMSS Analytics is a not-for-profit subsidiary of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). The company developed EMRAM in 2005 as a methodology for evaluating the progress and impact of electronic medical record systems for hospitals in the HIMSS Analytics™ Database. There are eight stages (0-7) that measure a hospital’s implementation and utilization of information technology applications. The final stage, Stage 7, represents a paperless, advanced patient record environment. “This transition was a $91 million decision,” Bruce McClymonds, WVU Healthcare president and CEO, explained. “The decision to make this significant investment was predicated on the presumption that we could affect significant improvements in patient care, clinical quality and outcomes through the more effective use of clinical information.” WVU Healthcare has had an electronic medical record and computerized physician order entry system for 20 years. Several years ago, the decision was made to explore the implementation of a significant upgrade to what is considered the most advanced, state of the art integrated electronic medical records system in the healthcare industry. Clinicians instantly access accurate, real-time patient records in any WVU Healthcare facility, helping our providers more effectively diagnose patients, reduce preventable medical errors and provide safer care. “A hospital can make the transition from paper charts to electronic records, but not use that system to its fullest potential,” said Kevin Halbritter, M.D., chief medical information officer at WVU Healthcare. “We are better equipped to fill gaps in care that would be more likely if our system wasn’t noting condition-specific tests that should be ordered, such as a yearly mammogram for a woman over 50. Our records system reminds our physicians to schedule routine screenings that might otherwise be forgotten.” “Advanced, smart use of electronic records has had a dramatic impact on our ability to support our mission to improve the health of West Virginians and all we serve,” Dr. Halbritter continued. “Our goal is to deliver the right care in the right place at the right time at all our sites, and technology allows us to make that happen.” The system has already proven itself by having a direct and positive effect on patient care, clinical quality and outcomes, even convenience. In addition, tens of thousands of patients each year view their scheduled appointments, test results and other information through myWVUchart, WVU Healthcare’s patient portal, which debuted in 2010. WVU Healthcare’s flagship hospital, Ruby Memorial, is celebrating its 25th anniversary. It opened on July 19, 1988, after a generous donation from Morgantown philanthropist Hazel Ruby McQuain. The anniversary celebration will continue through the fall, marking a quarter century of care for tens of thousands of patients. [...]

WVU School of Medicine’s Global Health Week begins Oct. 21

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University School of Medicine Global Health Program is partnering with the WVU School of Public Health Office for Public Health Practice to sponsor this year’s Global Health Week. The lectures will feature a speaker at noon each day starting Monday, Oct. 21 through Friday, Oct. 25 in the WVU Health Sciences Learning Center, room 1905. “The world is a global community,” Melanie Fisher, M.D., M.Sc., director of the Global Health Program, said. “We are all linked to each other. What happens in one area regarding health affects everyone, so we are all in this together to improve the health of others globally.” The lecture schedule and featured speakers are as follows. [...]

WVU researchers seeking faith-based organizations in McDowell, Mercer and Wyoming counties for fall-prevention study

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University Department of Orthopaedics is looking for 10 religious congregations (e.g., church, mosque, synagogue, temple, etc.) in McDowell, Mercer and Wyoming counties to participate in the second phase of a fall-prevention study using a physical activity program. The purpose of the study is to evaluate how the fall-prevention program “Moving for Better Balance” is implemented in religious congregations in rural West Virginia and whether they can sustain the program after the funded study concludes. The physical activity program was specifically created to improve balance and reduce falls in older adults using slow, gentle and self-paced exercises. The program can improve muscle strength, flexibility, sleep, balance and quality of life.   The study will eventually enroll 240 men and women, aged 65 years and older, in the 16-week exercise class. Information will be collected from the participants at the beginning and end of the class and after a 16-week follow-up. Dina L. Jones, P.T., Ph.D., associate professor in the WVU Department of Orthopaedics and WVU Division of Physical Therapy and affiliate faculty in the WVU Injury Control Research Center, will be conducting the study, “Translation of an Evidence-Based Fall-Prevention Program into Rural West Virginia Churches.” The study was recently funded as part of a five-year, $4.1 million grant that was awarded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to the WVU Injury Control Research Center. The project will include: modifying the exercise program specifically for use in religious environments in West Virginia, conducting a 16-week exercise class for 240 older adults in 20 congregations over two years, evaluating the program and sharing the results with religious and public health partners. Religious congregations in McDowell, Mercer or Wyoming interested in participating can contact Jennifer Eicher, project coordinator, at 1-855-314-0742 (toll-free) or jeicher@hsc.wvu.edu, or Dr. Dina Jones at 304-293-1078 or dljones@hsc.wvu.edu. [...]

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