July 19, 2004

Contact:          Jennifer Riordan, 272-0261 office, 220-0702 cell

                        Bridgid Isworth and Allison Thompson, 272-3690 office

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Albuquerque, NM - The University of New Mexico Hospital (UNMH) was recently named one of the Most Wired Hospitals in the nation by Hospitals and Health Networks, the Journal of the American Hospital Association and the Healthcare and Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). UNMH received the award for its abilities and knowledge in technological products.

The survey and benchmarking study measure the nation's hospitals on their use of electronic networking technologies for medical-care quality, customer service, public health and safety, business processes and workforce issues.

According to the report, the nation's most wired hospitals are making significant progress automating four key components of an electronic medical record: current medical records, medical history, patient demographics and nurses' notes.

This is the second year UNMH ranked in the top bracket in the survey's six-year history. "Better technological communications in all aspects of healthcare greatly increase our efficiency and accuracy," UNMH CEO Steve McKernan said. "This, in turn, makes patient care more comfortable and less intrusive."

According to the HIMSS website, information technology is rapidly improving across the nation. Information technology standards allow multiple hospitals and organizations to work together and improve overall patient care.  Technically able hospitals reduce the possibility of error and decrease the time required for medical transactions.

UNMH's use of information technologies has contributed to other note-worthy recognitions. UNMH received high scores and recognition from the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) for providing optimal patient care. JCAHO also re-verified UNMH as the only Level 1 Trauma Center in New Mexico.   

"Being named a ‘Most Wired Hospital' is just another example of the continued commitment to supply our patients with the best healthcare out there," McKernan said.

The University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center provides added value to health care through leadership in providing innovative, collaborative education; advancing frontiers of science through research critical to the future of health care; delivering health care services that are at the forefront of science; and facilitating partnerships with public and private biomedical and health enterprises. For more information on the UNM Health Sciences Center, visit http://.hsc.unm.edu.