Sentara Healthcare is Top Ranked Integrated Healthcare System in the Country

NORFOLK, Va. - January 25, 2010 - Sentara Healthcare has been ranked as the top most Integrated Healthcare System in the nation according to SDI and Modern Healthcare Magazine. SDI is a healthcare analytics company that conducts and annual assessment of the 100 most highly integrated healthcare networks (IHNs). Sentara has been listed among the top ten in each of the 13 years the list has been compiled and published. It was ranked number one in 2001 and now again in 2010. SDI's report is regarded as the nation's premier rating system by evaluating IHNs on their performance and degree of integration.

Measuring eight performance indicators, the SDI survey looks at measures of clinical integration, technology integration, utilization and services offered. For 2010, one of the metrics that carried the greatest weight was financial stability. Directly underscoring the need for sound financial practices in healthcare, SDI's ranking reflects the economy's impact on healthcare systems across the country.

Sentara has always taken its fiscal responsibility very seriously, according to David Bernd, chief executive officer for Sentara Healthcare. Managing through the recession has meant greater emphasis on expense control for employees throughout the system. Job preservation has also been a key component of Sentara management's strategy, with no employee layoffs and greatest emphasis on delivering innovative, quality healthcare.

"Our management team and all our physicians and employees have worked hard in recent years to maintain high quality patient care while managing those expenses we can control," added Bernd. "We feel very good about the work that we've done to manage through the recession, as it reflects a real team effort."

While managing expenses, Sentara has also been able to continue its work to implement Sentara eCare®, its electronic medical record system, in six hospitals and Sentara Medical Group physician practices in recent years. Early results help illustrate just how dramatic the Sentara eCare impact has been. Sentara has been able to document more efficient care with higher physician order entry statistics than the national average and significant reductions in delivery times for inpatient medications.

While dramatic, implementing the electronic medical record technology is still only step one for Sentara, adds Bernd.

"With an improved ability to capture patient data Sentara eCare® allows physicians a better ability to study the trends in healthcare and make resulting changes to the way care is delivered," he says. "This transformation in the way we deliver care is helping Sentara ensure the highest quality and safest patient environment."

In spite of the economy, Sentara continued to grow outside of Hampton Roads in 2009. Sentara affiliated with Potomac Hospital in Northern Virginia, Optima grew its health plan coverage state wide, and Sentara Home Health acquired offices in Charlottesville and Bath County, Virginia.

Sentara also continued to achieve significant quality milestones with 'Network' accreditation from the American College of Surgeons' Commission on Cancer; national recognition for its hospital acquired infection rates; and national top 50 rankings in five specialties in US News and World Report.

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