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UMass Memorial health care develops fully integrated EMR

Worcester, MA UMass Memorial Health Care is undertaking an electronic medical record integration project of incredible scope. Known as Cornerstone, the project is a multi-year, multi-entity corporate initiative to implement common patient clinical and financial systems and to reduce variability in processes and workflows across the system. Currently in full design and implementation mode and continuing over the next four years, the way UMass Memorial collects, views, shares, manages, and interacts with all patient information will drastically change and improve.

"Cornerstone integrates all of the clinical and financial patient information from the various electronic systems throughout the five-hospital UMass Memorial Health Care enterprise into one," said Karen Marhefka, associate chief information officer and executive leader of the Cornerstone project. "With our patients at the epicenter, we are building this solution with the emphasis on clinical data interoperability, quality improvement and efficiency for our patients, our providers, and our administrative functions."

"Hospitals throughout the US are being mandated by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) to institute electronic medical records," said George Brenckle, PhD, senior vice president and chief information officer at UMass Memorial Health Care. "Cornerstone will take UMass Memorial Health Care well beyond the minimum requirements, providing better coordination between providers, increased ability to prevent medical and medication errors, and less variability in the delivery of care."

With five hospitals and more than 1500 physicians, the health care system needs to be able to coordinate critical patient information between a large academic medical center and a single physician's office. The system is able to provide interoperability with its EMR system to community physicians, regardless of their relationship with UMass Memorial. "Through Cornerstone, UMass Memorial can help make electronic medical record software available to physicians and small physician groups throughout the Commonwealth," said Willis Chandler, vice president of business development at UMass Memorial Health Care. "Regardless of whether community physicians purchase EMRs with our help or if they buy them on their own, Cornerstone will enable an interoperative environment that will allow for patient data sharing both from within and outside of the system."

UMass Memorial Health Care is comprised of Clinton Hospital, HealthAlliance Hospital, Marlborough Hospital, Wing Memorial Hospital, and UMass Memorial Medical Center.

"UMass Memorial Health Care is changing the way we interact and communicate with our patients and with each other through the development of Cornerstone," said John O'Brien, president and CEO of UMass Memorial Health Care. "Rather than trying to patch our systems together, we have made the investment of time and resources to build a truly patient-centered, safer, and more efficient record system."


Contact: Robert Brogna
University of Massachusetts Medical School

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