CareTechNews

Blanchard Valley Health Association recognized as one of the nation’s Most Wired hospitals

CareTech Solutions assists Ohio health system in achieving top 100 status for effective use of IT for clinical and operational excellence

Troy, Mich. – July 12, 2005 – Blanchard Valley Health Association (BVHA), an independent regional health services organization for Northwest Ohio, has been named one of the nation’s 2005 Most Wired hospital and health systems by Hospitals & Health Networks, the journal of the American Hospital Association. This sixth-annual survey and benchmarking study measured the nation’s healthcare systems on the effective use of information technology (IT) in achieving clinical and operational excellence.

“We’re thrilled to be recognized by the Most Wired survey as one of the nation’s most wired health systems, and to share some of our best practices with the healthcare industry,” said Blanchard Valley Health Association President and Chief Executive Officer Scott Malaney. “CareTech has helped us put the right information tools in place to increase our clinicians’ productivity and flexibility, which we believe helps allow us to provide the highest quality care and services for our patients.”

In 2003, BVHA selected CareTech Solutions, a Michigan-based provider of comprehensive healthcare IT and health information management, to serve as its IT provider. BVHA leverages CareTech’s expertise through comprehensive service offerings, including data center and network operating center services, 24x7x365 help desk services, applications management, telecommunications, administrative support and staff management.

Since 1999, Hospitals & Health Networks has surveyed the nation’s hospitals on their use of information technology to accomplish key goals. The Most Wired survey and benchmarking study measures hospital’s use of IT for quality, customer service, public health and safety, business processes and workforce issues. Based on a detailed scoring process, the magazine annually names the 100 Most Wired hospitals and health systems. This year, 502 surveys were submitted, representing 1,255 hospitals.

“Flexibility and mobility drive Blanchard Valley’s IT processes,” said Blanchard Valley Health Association Chief Information Officer Annette Elchert. “These technology implementations allow our clinicians to access the information they need – in or out of the hospital setting – to offer a better patient experience.”

The nation’s 100 Most Wired hospitals and health systems – those that have invested significantly in health information technology – have lower mortality rates than other hospitals, according to results of the 2005 Most Wired survey. While the new survey does not establish a “cause and effect” relationship between information technology use and improved outcomes, it demonstrates that technology can play an important role in quality.

According to an outcomes analysis conducted for the magazine by independent healthcare business intelligence company Solucient, the 100 Most Wired hospitals have, on average, risk-adjusted mortality rates that are 7.2 percent lower than other hospitals, even after controlling for the size of the hospital and teaching status.

“This is the first analysis showing that the nation’s top tech hospitals also have better outcomes,” said Hospitals & Health Networks Executive Editor Alden Solovy. The analysis compared mortality results for the 2005 list of Most Wired with the rest of the nation, although Solovy cautions that the analysis does not establish a causal relationship between IT and outcomes.

Hospitals & Health Networks conducted the 2005 survey in cooperation with Accenture, IDX Systems Corporation and the College of Healthcare Information Management (CHIME). The July Hospitals & Health Networks cover story detailing results of the survey is available at www.hhnmag.com.

About Blanchard Valley Health Association
With more than a century of service to Northwestern Ohio, Blanchard Valley Health Association is an independent, comprehensive regional health services organization, offering a broad continuum of exceptional health-related services. Blanchard Valley provides exceptional clinical care and service through competent, caring and compassionate people; healing environments that enhance physical, emotional and spiritual well-being; and continuous process improvement, creatively improving its care and services through innovation. For more information, visit www.bvha.org.

About CareTech Solutions
CareTech Solutions, Inc., an information technology (IT) and health information management (HIM) outsourcing provider for hospitals and health systems, is committed to creating value for healthcare clients through customized, flexible outsourcing solutions that contribute to improving patient care while lowering healthcare costs. Based in Troy, MI, CareTech Solutions offers clients expert services in virtually every facet of information technology from implementing emerging technologies to supporting day-to-day IT and HIM operations for hospitals nationally. For more information please visit: www.caretechsolutions.com.

CONTACT:

Kevin Sangsland
Airfoil Public Relations, Inc.
(313) 887-7205
sangsland@airfoilpr.com

Jody Meehan
CareTech Solutions, Inc.
(248) 233-3080
jody.meehan@caretechsolutions.com