MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – For the first time, WVU Healthcare has been named to the Most Wired list of hospitals and health systems in the United States. With this designation, WVU Healthcare joins a select group of providers using the most advanced information technology available to deliver excellent care.

The lists are based on level of achievement in four focus areas: clinical quality and safety, care continuum, infrastructure and business and administrative management. Hospitals and health systems participate in the survey on a voluntary basis.

“In addition to other criteria, WVU Healthcare demonstrated ways we are moving our use of technology ahead,” Rich King, WVUH vice president and chief information officer, said. “Medications are now ordered electronically, allowing unprecedented speed and accuracy. We’re protecting information through the use of encryption. If our computer systems experience an outage, data can be restored quickly.”

“Most Wired hospitals far outpace other facilities in these areas. It all comes down to doing everything in our power to improve the health and protect the personal information of our patients,” King continued.

In recent years, WVU Healthcare has steadily implemented information systems designed to improve patient outcomes through greater accuracy, accessibility and security. The introductions of Merlin, the electronic medical records project, and MyWVUChart, the online portal that allows patients to view their own medical records, have proven to be major advances in patient safety and quality of care. More than 12,000 patients now access MyWVUChart, and the Merlin system links WVU Healthcare’s many clinics.

“Merlin has made a tremendous impact on quality and patient safety,” Niti Armistead, M.D., WVU Healthcare associate chief medical officer and chief quality officer, said. “Clinicians system-wide now have patients’ complete and up-to-date medical histories and medication information readily available to them. This enables care providers to make better decisions for patients.”

Approximately 1,388 hospitals are represented in the 530 surveys submitted for the 2011 Most Wired Survey. Now in its 13th year, the survey rates the Most Wired, Most Wired – Small and Rural, Most Wireless and Most Improved. As new technology has been integrated into daily clinical use, WVU Healthcare had previously been recognized as one of the country’s Most Improved centers for the past two years. The results of the annual survey were released this week in the July issue of “Hospitals and Health Networks,” the journal of the American Hospital Association.

For more information on the Most Wired lists, see

For more information on WVU Healthcare, see

For more information: Leigh Limerick, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087
lal: 07-01-11