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Poudre Valley Health System, The Children’s Hospital, Centura Health and Denver Health register their intent to achieve meaningful use of electronic health records

Colorado hospitals join nationwide EHR incentive program registration day

For Immediate Release
January 13, 2011

Kevin Darst
Poudre Valley Health System

Elizabeth Whitehead
The Children’s Hospital

Wendi Dammann
Centura Health

Dee Martinez
Denver Health

DENVER -- The Children’s Hospital, Centura Health, Denver Health and Poudre Valley Health System participated in today’s Nationwide EHR Incentive Program Registration Day to celebrate their commitment to quality health care for patients. January 2011 marks the first opportunity for hospitals and eligible providers to register their intent to achieve “meaningful use” of certified electronic health records (EHRs) and qualify for federal stimulus funds under the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The incentive payment programs are aimed at improving Americans’ health, increasing safety, and reducing healthcare costs by accelerating and expanding the nation’s adoption and meaningful use of health information technology.

“National adoption of health information technology will constitute an historic turning point for health care in America,” said David Blumenthal, M.D., M.P.P., National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. “Starting with the adoption and meaningful use of electronic health records, health information technology will provide better care for patients, easier care to provide for providers, and long-term healthcare cost and quality improvement for the nation as a whole.”

Registration to participate in the EHR incentives program is now open, and The Children’s Hospital, Centura Health, Denver Health and Poudre Valley are representing Colorado and are among the first 121 hospitals in the U.S., to attest to Stage 1 Meaningful Use in 2011.

“We believe in leveraging technology to improve care, safety and quality,” said Jim Shmerling, president/CEO, The Children’s Hospital. “As one of the first free-standing pediatric facilities in the country with a fully integrated electronic health record, we’ve seen first-hand that real-time accessible information for patients and healthcare providers is a meaningful step towards safe and smart healthcare reform. Children’s has taken the extra step to join electronic health information (HIE) exchanges by partnering with physicians, physician practices and other hospitals and healthcare systems.”

Health information exchanges (HIEs) electronically share digital medical record information among disparate providers in the community, allowing practitioners to more efficiently and accurately diagnose patients and recommend treatments, in a timely, quality and cost-effective manner.

EHRs and HIEs are a concrete example of how healthcare reform is taking place in Colorado. All records are up-to-date and changes are logged in real time, helping the quality and timeliness of patient care, no matter where and by whom they are seen.

“Since 1997, Denver Health has invested nearly $400 million in health information technology,” said Patricia A. Gabow, M.D., CEO, Denver Health. “Many people are amazed that a safety net institution would make such an investment and be one of the “Most Wired” hospitals in America. We believe that you can only achieve high quality, safe, efficient health care if every provider has all the information on a patient at their fingertips while they are caring for that patient. Our outcomes definitely support this investment.”

"Critical to our ability to provide coordinated, safe, high-quality care, our providers, physicians and staff have experienced first-hand the benefits of our fully-integrated, statewide EHR," said Dana Moore, senior vice president and CIO of Centura Health. "As Colorado’s largest health care provider, our EHR allows us to touch more Coloradoans, and contribute collectively to sustaining the health of our state for generations to come."

More recently, statewide collaboration of chief information officers (CIOs), CEOs and other medical and technology leaders positions Colorado as a national leader in the evolution of our U.S. healthcare system. According to the most recent results of the American Hospital Association’s Survey of IT adoption, 15.1 percent of acute care non-federal hospitals have adopted at least a “basic” EHR; whereas in Colorado, approximately 29 percent (+/-9%) of acute care non-federal hospitals report having at least a “basic” EHR in place.

“Our goals are always quality, safety and to make sure every patient has the best possible experience in our health system,” said PVHS CEO Rulon Stacey. “An integrated electronic health record helps us achieve all of those goals, as well as provide convenience for our patients.”

Dr. David Kaplan, chief medical officer of The Children’s Hospital, adds that throughout the process, providers have kept a clear focus that while EHR is an important tool, it will never replace the doctor-patient relationship. A doctor will always make the diagnosis and prescribe treatment, not a computer. Having EHR available to healthcare providers will only complement that relationship.

  EHRs and Meaningful Use at a Glance:

  • Dr. David Blumenthal, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, discusses the importance of registering for the Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs, administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). View the YouTube video
  • EHRs can hold a wide variety of information including (but not limited to) immunization records, blood type, lab results, X-rays, allergies, medical histories, current and past medications and dosages.
  • While investing in the switch from paper to electronic records costs millions of dollars, the result leads to more efficient, cost effective health care with improved safety, quality and communication.
  • EHRs enhance quality and safety by reducing the chance for medical errors that occur when information is written down inaccurately or illegibly, or is not available to care providers in a timely manner.
  • EHRs and HIEs can help  physicians and nurses be more efficient and accurate, as they can quickly access patient care documents electronically right in the exam room, rather than ordering a repeat of that test or exam that may have been done recently at a partner facility.
  • EHRs and HIEs support clinical decision-making by providing clinicians prompt access to comprehensive, “continuity of care” patient and clinical information when needed.
  • Meaningful Use:  The government’s Medicare and Medicaid incentive programs are designed to encourage physicians and nurses to effectively use electronic record systems to improve outcomes and reduce costs; to improve the quality of care we provide; and to improve care coordination across the community. These four providers in Colorado – Children’s, Centura, Denver Health and Poudre Valley, are well along on their quest to implement these technologies. For them, and many others statewide and nationwide, it’s now all about how they effectively use these technologies to affect change.

About The Children’s Hospital
The Children’s Hospital has defined and delivered pediatric healthcare excellence for more than 100 years. Founded in 1908, The Children’s Hospital is a leading pediatric network entirely devoted to the health and wellbeing of children. Continually recognized as one of the nation’s outstanding hospitals by U.S. News & World Report, The Children’s Hospital is known both for its nationally and internationally recognized medical, research and education programs as well as the full spectrum of everyday care for kids throughout Colorado and surrounding states. With more than 1,000 healthcare professionals representing the full spectrum of pediatric specialties, The Children’s Hospital network of care includes its main campus, sixteen Children’s Care Centers and more than 400 outreach clinics. For more information, visit

About Centura Health
Centura Health is Colorado’s largest hospital and health care network and we are charting the course for the future of health care. Approximately 14,500 of the health care industry’s best and brightest with more than 6,000 physician partners, deliver advanced care to more than half a million people each year, across 13 hospitals, seven senior living communities, medical clinics, affiliated partner hospitals, Flight For Life® Colorado, and home care and hospice services. Our strength lies in our ability to offer a team of connected networks and shared resources to deliver accessible, reliable and cost-effective health care across the state. For information on Centura Health or any of the facilities in our network, please visit

About Denver Health
Denver Health is the Rocky Mountain Region’s Level 1 academic trauma center providing care for both adults and children, and the safety net hospital for the Denver area. The Denver Health system, which integrates acute and emergency care with public and community health, includes the Rocky Mountain Regional Trauma Center; the Denver Emergency Center for Children; Denver’s 911 emergency medical response system; Denver Health Paramedic Division; eight family health centers; 12 school-based health centers; the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center; NurseLine; Correctional Care; Denver CARES; Denver Public Health; the Denver Health Foundation and the Rocky Mountain Center for Medical Response to Terrorism, Mass Casualties and Epidemics. For more information, visit

About Poudre Valley Health System
Poudre Valley Health System (PVHS) is a locally owned, private, nonprofit organization with a vision to provide world-class health care. Based in northern Colorado since 1925, PVHS provides evidence-based health care and wellness services and products to an area of Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming covering more than 50,000 square miles. PVHS is a regional medical hub that includes Poudre Valley Hospital, Medical Center of the Rockies, Mountain Crest Behavioral Healthcare Center and Poudre Valley Medical Group, an expansive network of clinics and physicians. PVHS is the recipient of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and has also been regularly named among the most wired and wireless health systems in the nation. Learn more at


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