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UPMC Media Relations

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Honored as One of the Country's Most Innovative Users of Information Technology

PITTSBURGH, September 23, 2003 For the second consecutive year, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) has been named to the InformationWeek 500, a prestigious listing of the most innovative users of information technology (IT) in the United States.

UPMC is ranked 3rd in the health care and medicine category and is the highest ranked health system. Overall, UPMC ranked 37th this year, up from 76th last year, in the magazine's 15th annual Top 500 listing of the most innovative users of information technology.

"This award, along with others we have received this year, establishes UPMC's leadership position in information technology," stated Dan Drawbaugh, UPMC's chief information officer.

Mr. Drawbaugh went on to say that UPMC's board has committed $500 million to IT initiatives believing that advanced communication capability is the very lifeblood of any modern health care organization. Since that time, numerous innovative programs have been established, as the medical center and technology has continued to evolve.

In conjunction with the 500 ranking announcement, InformationWeek is holding its annual fall conference this week where industry leaders from some of the world's most influential companies will discuss the inescapable link between IT and business processes. Mr. Drawbaugh was selected to participate on an expert panel discussion along with CIOs from Northwest Airlines, Levi-Strauss and Quaker Chemical.

The centerpiece of UPMC's IT initiative is the development of an electronic health record which will be integrated across the entire system of 20 tertiary, specialty and community hospitals in urban and rural settings, 225 physician practices throughout western Pennsylvania and nursing, personal care and long-term care facilities.

Patients directly benefit from technological advances. Patient care is being further improved with UPMC's clinical decision support system, which is part of a new system that has stemmed from UPMC's commitment to making electronic patient-doctor interaction commonplace. The clinical decision support system allows clinicians to more efficiently access complete medical records. This enhances the physicians' abilities to make sound medical decisions, confer with colleagues and have more meaningful encounters with patients.

Other key features of the initiative involve the development and system-wide deployment of technologies that impact access to care, such as scheduling of appointments, registration for clinical services and insurance eligibility management; business practices, including billing, claims and contract management; and resource planning, such as purchasing, materials management and payroll.

For 15 years, the InformationWeek 500 has tracked organizations' IT agendas, providing a unique opportunity to understand and examine their business practices across core areas of operations. According to InformationWeek, to make the list, a company must demonstrate a pattern of technological, procedural and organizational innovation. Companies were examined on various areas of operations, including technology development, information technology budget, technology strategies, E-business, customer knowledge initiatives and staff management.

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