Northwestern Memorial HealthCare CEO named to medicare technology commission

December 01, 2004

Northwestern Memorial Hospital recently announced that Gary A. Mecklenburg, CEO of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare, was appointed by House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) to the Commission on Systemic Interoperability, a commission responsible for working with the public and private health sectors to develop a strategy and timeline for implementing health care information technology standards. These standards will serve as the foundation for establishing a system of universal health records.

"For the healthcare field to successfully move forward, we must standardize. We can no longer have unique practice patterns and IT solutions, hospital by hospital, community by community," said Gary Mecklenburg. "In order to provide a patient-centric healthcare system for the 21st century, we need to exchange critical healthcare information in a timely, predictive manner. I'm honored to be selected by the Commission to help develop standards that will force us to think more globally across the industry."

The Commission on Systemic Interoperability was established by Section 1012 of the Medicare Modernization Act. It has been charged by Congress with developing a strategic plan for the nation's healthcare information technology infrastructure. In the next year, the commission will create a comprehensive plan for adopting and implementing technology standards to make healthcare IT systems across the country work together. The plan, due to Congress by October 31, 2005, will establish a timeline and priorities for offering technology tools to improve healthcare safety, quality and efficiency.

"Mecklenburg's appointment to the Commission speaks to Northwestern Memorial Hospital's commitment to leading by example and making advanced information technologies a top priority," said Scott Wallace president and chief executive officer of The National Alliance for Health Information Technology and chairman of the Commission.

As part of the hospital's long-range financial plan from 2002-2010, an estimated $100 million has been planned for obtaining and implementing additional advanced information technology systems. In any given year, the amount toward IT investment equates to approximately one-third of the hospital's annual capital budget.

In the past two years, NMH has accomplished several major clinical systems initiatives, including nursing automation and documentation, which also includes the electronic medication administration record. To accomplish this, more than 1,200 high-speed computers were placed into patient rooms and more than 2,000 nurses received training on how to electronically capture patient information at the bedside. The hospital is currently training its physicians on the bedside electronic system.

Additionally, NMH is currently rolling out its computerized provider order-entry or CPOE system to clinicians in all practice areas. CPOE has been cited nationally by LeapFrog Group - a coalition of more than 150 public and private organizations that provide health care benefits - as technology that enables safe and effective care and is an important undertaking for the hospital that will have a significant impact on caregiver decision making as well as increase patient safety by reducing the possibility for medical errors.

The hospital's efforts have been recognized by many external organizations, including Hospitals & Health Networks, who for five years in a row, has named Northwestern Memorial to its annual "Most Wired" list - the only Chicago hospital to receive this distinction. In the coming year, Northwestern Memorial will work toward achieving the The LeapFrog Group's standard for clinical information systems through the annual Patient Safety Survey, the only external standard for evaluating a hospital's adaptation of clinical systems. Currently the survey is voluntary and less than five percent of the nation's hospitals have completed it.
About Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Northwestern Memorial Hospital (NMH) is one of the country's premier academic medical centers and is the primary teaching hospital of Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. Northwestern Memorial and its Prentice Women's Hospital and Stone Institute of Psychiatry have 744 beds and more than 1,200 affiliated physicians and 6,000 employees. Providing state-of-the-art care, NMH is recognized for its outstanding clinical and surgical advancements in such areas as cardiothoracic and vascular care, gastroenterology, neurology and neurosurgery, oncology, organ and bone marrow transplantation, and women's health.

Northwestern Memorial was ranked as the nation's 5th best hospital by the 2002 Consumer Checkbook survey of the nation's physicians and is listed in the majority of specialties in this year's US News & World Report's issue of "America's Best Hospitals." NMH is also cited as one of the "100 Best Companies for Working Mothers" by Working Mother magazine and has been chosen by Chicagoans year after year as their "most preferred hospital" in National Research Corporation's annual survey.

Northwestern Memorial HealthCare

Related Technology Articles from Brightsurf:

December issue SLAS Technology features 'advances in technology to address COVID-19'
The December issue of SLAS Technology is a special collection featuring the cover article, ''Advances in Technology to Address COVID-19'' by editors Edward Kai-Hua Chow, Ph.D., (National University of Singapore), Pak Kin Wong, Ph.D., (The Pennsylvania State University, PA, USA) and Xianting Ding, Ph.D., (Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China).

October issue SLAS Technology now available
The October issue of SLAS Technology features the cover article, 'Role of Digital Microfl-uidics in Enabling Access to Laboratory Automation and Making Biology Programmable' by Varun B.

Robot technology for everyone or only for the average person?
Robot technology is being used more and more in health rehabilitation and in working life.

Novel biomarker technology for cancer diagnostics
A new way of identifying cancer biomarkers has been developed by researchers at Lund University in Sweden.

Technology innovation for neurology
TU Graz researcher Francesco Greco has developed ultra-light tattoo electrodes that are hardly noticeable on the skin and make long-term measurements of brain activity cheaper and easier.

April's SLAS Technology is now available
April's Edition of SLAS Technology Features Cover Article, 'CURATE.AI: Optimizing Personalized Medicine with Artificial Intelligence'.

Technology in higher education: learning with it instead of from it
Technology has shifted the way that professors teach students in higher education.

Post-lithium technology
Next-generation batteries will probably see the replacement of lithium ions by more abundant and environmentally benign alkali metal or multivalent ions.

Rethinking the role of technology in the classroom
Introducing tablets and laptops to the classroom has certain educational virtues, according to Annahita Ball, an assistant professor in the University at Buffalo School of Social Work, but her research suggests that tech has its limitations as well.

The science and technology of FAST
The Five hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST), located in a radio quiet zone, with the targets (e.g., radio pulsars and neutron stars, galactic and extragalactic 21-cm HI emission).

Read More: Technology News and Technology Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to