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Electronic Health Record Advances Patient-Centered Cancer Care
Date:2/11/2009

First all-digital cancer hospital enhances commitment to quality care at Cancer Treatment Centers of America

GOODYEAR, Ariz., Feb. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) has opened the nation's first all-digital cancer hospital in Goodyear, Ariz. The 213,000-square-foot facility is the fourth hospital in the steadily growing CTCA network.

CTCA at Western Regional Medical Center (Western) extends the comprehensive electronic health record (EHR) system launched by CTCA last year. The CTCA EHR is designed specifically to support the unique patient-centered care model found only at CTCA hospitals. CTCA offers cancer patients a fully integrative cancer treatment experience that combines traditional, state-of-the-art medical treatments with scientifically supported complementary therapies.

"Western is the first cancer hospital in the nation to offer a fully digital environment," said Edgar D. Staren, M.D., Ph.D., MBA, senior vice president for clinical affairs and chief medical officer at CTCA. "Our other three hospitals in suburban Chicago, Philadelphia and Tulsa are rapidly approaching fully digital status as well.

"We view healthcare IT as a key enabler in our ongoing pursuit to improve the lives of the patients we serve. We are committed to promoting a clinical culture that maximizes the value of EHRs to benefit patient care."

Fully "wired" from the ground up, Western opened its doors in December with a fully electronic health record, all systems integrated into the core EHR, and all providers able to contribute to the continuity of care document. Those familiar with the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics EMR Adoption Model(SM) will recognize the level of automation as "Stage 7" or all digital.

"Our vision is very simple - all IT applications and medical equipment will be integrated through the Internet Protocol (IP) backbone," said Chad Eckes, chief information officer at CTCA. "This level of automation allows all clinicians access to the patient's information, when and where they need it. Our vision also extends externally to include personal health records, integration with external physicians, and interaction with providers."

Across the growing network of CTCA hospitals, electronic health record utilization is part of a culture of continuous process improvement that focuses on the individual needs of cancer patients and their families, including quality care and safety, operational and communications efficiency, and data collection and analysis. CTCA is also using the EHR system to improve clinical care as well as patient satisfaction. CTCA tracks patient satisfaction using the Net Promoter Score (NPS) methodology, among other measures. On average, more than 90 percent of cancer patients treating at one of its hospitals are willing to refer another patient to a CTCA hospital.

"At CTCA, doctors and other clinicians had my information right at hand," said Cindy Nelson, a resident of Prescott, Ariz., who travels to Western for treatment. "The admissions process was not drawn out, and I didn't feel the stress and anxiety associated with long wait times for test results and treatment plans."

"Western is part of a small population reaching a fully electronic health record," said David Veillette, president and CEO of CTCA at Western Regional Medical Center. "The EHR is one part of our comprehensive IT platform designed to maximize patient care. Cancer patients will benefit from greater efficiency created by real-time access to patient data, better communication across departments, faster development of treatment plans, fewer transcription errors, reduced turnaround times for lab orders and results, and more."

About Cancer Treatment Centers of America(R)

Founded in 1988, Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) provides a comprehensive, patient-centered treatment model that fully integrates traditional, state-of-the-art medical treatments with scientifically supported complementary therapies such as nutrition, naturopathic medicine, psychological counseling, physical therapy and spiritual support to meet the special, whole-person needs of advanced stage cancer patients. With a network of cancer treatment hospitals and community oncology programs in Arizona, Illinois, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Washington, CTCA encourages patients and their families to participate in treatment decisions with its Patient Empowerment Medicine(SM) model. For more information about Cancer Treatment Centers of America, go to cancercenter.com.


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SOURCE Cancer Treatment Centers of America
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