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Grande Ronde Hospital Wins ECRI Institute's 2011 Health Devices Achievement Award

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa., Sept. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- ECRI Institute® (, an independent nonprofit organization that researches the best approaches to improving patient care, is pleased to announce Grande Ronde Hospital ( of La Grande, Oregon, as the winner of its 6th annual Health Devices Achievement Award. The award recognizes an outstanding initiative undertaken by an ECRI Institute member healthcare institution that improves patient safety, reduces costs, or otherwise facilitates better strategic management of health technology.


Grande Ronde Hospital, a 25-bed critical access hospital, won this year's award for its establishment of a telemedicine network that allows its patients in rural northeast Oregon and Washington to access specialty physicians from across four states.

As a result of the initiative, Grande Ronde Hospital now offers 16 outpatient, consulting and educational services and more through its telemedicine program. The technology is used for sharing Electronic Health Records, with consultants as far away as 1,800 miles reviewing patient lab results, radiology images and medications.  Some of the services provided by this program are now being used as a model by other hospitals.

"We are so honored to receive this recognition from ECRI Institute," said Douglas Romer, Executive Director, Patient Care Services, Grande Ronde Hospital. "It's great to be recognized for the work our team has done with our Telemedicine Program. The true reward, though, is what these multi-specialty programs have meant for our patients," Romer said. "People in our rural community have had to travel great distances and incur significant expense to access specialty medical care. With telemedicine, our patients are able to receive that care right here at Grande Ronde Hospital, surrounded by their families and other local support systems."

"We congratulate Grande Ronde Hospital for its great work on this project," said ECRI Institute's James Keller, Jr., MS, vice president, health technology evaluation and safety. "Our judging committee was extremely impressed with the impact that this initiative had and will have for so many patients. Telemedicine is a key component for the future delivery of rural healthcare and healthcare in general, and Grande Ronde's initiative serves as an excellent model for healthcare organizations moving towards that future."

In the past two years, Grande Ronde Hospital has provided inpatient intensive care consultations from pulmonologists, intensivists and cardiologists, frequently preventing transfers and significantly saving costs for the local healthcare structure. Grande Ronde continues to expand its telemedicine offerings to include a new TeleOncology program and TeleDermatology service, saving patients money and hours of travel time, making it easier to seek early treatment for better outcomes.

A formal award presentation will be made by ECRI Institute Vice President James Keller at Grande Ronde Hospital on October 14, 2011. A complete description of Grande Ronde's award-winning telemedicine initiative will be featured in an upcoming edition of ECRI Institute's Health Devices journal and on the ECRI Institute website. Descriptions of the two finalists' initiatives will be featured as well.

Finalists for the 2011 Health Devices Achievement Award were Boston Medical Center for its alarm standardization through a portable, self-contained cardiac telemetry and monitoring training system initiative, and Indian River Medical Center, Vero Beach, FL for its remote telemetry monitoring program for stable cardiac patients. 

To learn more about this year's Health Devices Achievement Award winner and finalists, visit

ECRI Institute will soon be accepting submissions for the 7th Annual Health Devices Award for 2012. For more information about submitting an application, or about becoming a member of ECRI Institute's Health Devices System   or Health Devices Gold   medical technology procurement and management programs, contact ECRI Institute at (610) 825-6000, ext. 5891, visit, e-mail,  or mail  ECRI Institute, 5200 Butler Pike, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462-1298, USA.

ECRI Institute (, a nonprofit organization, brings the discipline of applied scientific research to discover which medical procedures, devices, drugs, and processes are best, all to enable health care organizations to improve patient care. As pioneers in this science, they pride themselves in having the unique ability to marry practical experience and uncompromising independence with the thoroughness and objectivity of evidence-based research. ECRI Institute is designated as an Evidence-based Practice Center by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. ECRI Institute PSO is listed as a federally certified Patient Safety Organization by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Find ECRI Institute on Facebook ( and on Twitter (

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