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Cerner, Leapfrog Reducing Medical Errors in Seattle Area; Five Hospitals Using Cerner Solutions to Meet CPOE Standards of Employer Coalition.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. & SEATTLE -- The Leapfrog Group, a national coalition of more than 150 organizations with the healthcare purchasing power of 34 million consumers, asks hospitals to report publicly on how they meet four standards or "leaps" proven to reduce preventable medical errors. The implementation of computerized physician order entry (CPOE) is one of the standards and Cerner Corp. is helping Seattle/Tacoma hospitals fulfill The Leapfrog Group's CPOE imperatives.

Of the top six hospitals in the Seattle/Tacoma area making the greatest progress toward The Leapfrog Group's CPOE standard, five are using Cerner's CPOE solution. In 2004, The Leapfrog Group surveyed 25 Seattle/Tacoma hospitals to determine if they had implemented CPOE and if not, whether they would do so by 2005. Cerner clients Evergreen Hospital Medical Center; Harborview Medical Center; University of Washington Medical Center; and Virginia Mason Medical Center, are all making "good progress toward Leapfrog's high standard." In addition, Cerner client Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center is the first Seattle hospital to fully meet The Leapfrog Group's CPOE standard.

"Seattle Children's is nationally recognized for the pediatric care we provide," said Dr. Mark Del Beccaro, clinical director of information services and associate director of emergency medicine for Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center. "Cerner's CPOE solution has helped our hospital maintain this high standard and fulfill The Leapfrog Group's quality imperative ensuring that we keep our children safe and provide them with the best care available."

CPOE unifies patient information with clinical orders, checking for errors and complications such as drug allergies or harmful interactions. CPOE has been shown to improve communication among clinicians and reduce adverse drug interactions and the risk of error as a result of illegible handwriting. KLAS, a leading research firm, recently validated that only 2.7 percent(a) of U.S. hospitals actively use some form of CPOE system today.

"We offer kudos especially to Children's Hospital and Cerner for being the first in the Puget Sound area to meet The Leapfrog Group's extremely high CPOE leap and thereby preventing many serious prescribing errors," said Arnie Milstein, leader of The Leapfrog Group's Leaps and Measures Committee. "While some hospitals have said, 'we can't' these hospitals have said, 'we can.'"

The Leapfrog Group's three other quality and safety recommendations are: staffing intensive care units with physicians trained in critical care medicine; referring patients for certain high-risk procedures to hospitals likely to offer the best outcomes; and meeting 27 additional patient safety practices endorsed by the National Quality Forum.

Created to help save lives and improve the affordability of healthcare, The Leapfrog Group connects consumers, insurers and providers to the performance comparisons necessary to make informed healthcare decisions. The Leapfrog Group was founded by the Business Roundtable, a national association of FORTUNE 500 CEOs and is supported by more than 150 large private and public employers.

Cerner Corp. is taking the paper chart out of healthcare, eliminating error, variance and waste in the care process. With more than 1,500 clients worldwide, Cerner is the leading supplier of healthcare information technology. The following are trademarks of Cerner: Cerner, Cerner's logo; NASDAQ: CERN; www.cerner.com.

(a) The 2004 KLAS Enterprises CPOE Digest is available at www.healthcomputing.com.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 20, 2004
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