Cleveland’s Sisters of Charity Health System to Join CliniSync Health Information Exchange

11/30/2011

November 30, 2011 - The Sisters of Charity Health System is taking a significant step into the future of patient care in Ohio by committing three of its medical centers to join the statewide health information exchange.
Plans now will begin for St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, St. John Medical Center and Mercy Medical Center to connect electronically to other Ohio physicians, hospitals, labs and health care entities. The projected timeline for implementation for St. Vincent Charity and St. John is the summer of 2012, and for Mercy Medical Center, the fall of 2012.
“The Sisters of Charity Health System’s medical centers are advancing our high quality of care by adopting health information technology that helps caregivers focus on prevention, care coordination and quality outcomes for patients,” said Sister Judith Ann Karam, CSA, president and CEO of the Sisters of Charity Health System.  
“At our Ohio hospitals, this includes securely sharing data through the Ohio Health Information Partnership’s statewide electronic health information exchange, CliniSync, to better manage care, facilitate continuity and allow information access for patients,” she said.
Dan Paoletti, the chief executive officer of the Ohio Health Information Partnership, said this national movement in all states to create statewide exchanges will transform health care in Ohio and beyond. The electronic exchange of a patient’s lab results or tests reduces faxing, phone calls and other lags in care that occur because it takes so much time to communicate that information. In addition, patients will not have to go through duplicate tests and procedures already conducted by another physician, saving time and money.
“While we know that exchanging patient information can improve health care delivery, streamline workflow and cut costs, this really comes down to the patient,” Paoletti said. “Every hospital, physician and health care provider who joins the CliniSync network will be able to share critical information about a patient so they can work as a team to coordinate that individual’s care. We are thrilled that the Sisters of Charity Health System’s Cleveland and Canton hospitals will be part of that exchange.”
The Community Health Collaborative, LLC (CHC) in Northeast Ohio has also just signed contracts to join the CliniSync exchange. This includes Southwest General Hospital, Parma Community General Hospital and EMH Elyria Medical Center. The actual implementation of CliniSync is now occurring in a consortium of hospitals in the Lima area.
The CliniSync health information exchange ultimately will connect hospitals, health systems, physicians and other health care professionals involved in patient care.  With patients’ permission, the exchange will allow participating organizations to access records through a secure network in real time.  
Ohio received $14.8 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through the Office of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology to create the infrastructure for a statewide exchange.  The Ohio Health Information Partnership also has signed up more than 5,800 Ohio physicians and health care professionals for the switch from paper records to electronic health records or to upgrade their existing systems.
About the Sisters of Charity Health System
The Sisters of Charity Health System was established in 1982 as the parent corporation for the sponsored ministries of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine in Ohio and South Carolina. The Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine, since founding in 1851, continues a faith-based legacy of high-quality, compassionate care in partnership with its co-ministers, who are the heart and hands of the ministry.     The Sisters of Charity Health System solely owns four Catholic hospitals: St. Vincent Charity Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio; Mercy Medical Center in Canton, Ohio; and Providence Hospital and Providence Northeast in Columbia, South Carolina. In a 50/50 joint venture with University Hospitals of Cleveland, the Sisters of Charity Health System also co-owns St. John Medical Center in Westlake, Ohio.  The Sisters of Charity Health System also oversees three grantmaking foundations located in Cleveland and Canton, Ohio, and Columbia, South Carolina. Each foundation sponsors significant community initiatives and collaborations that address causes and consequences of poverty. Other health and human services and education-related organizations within the Sisters of Charity Health System include Joseph’s Home, a unique residential care center for homeless men in Cleveland; Early Childhood Resource Center for people working in childcare in all settings in Canton; Healthy Learners, a health care resource for children from low-income families in South Carolina; and the South Carolina Center for Fathers and Families, a state-wide organization supporting initiatives to reengage fathers in the lives of their children. The Sisters of Charity Health System also provides residential eldercare services at Regina Health Center in Richfield, Ohio, and Light of Hearts Villa in Bedford, Ohio. Light of Hearts Villa is jointly sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati.  More information is available at www.sistersofcharityhealth.org.   
About St. Vincent Charity Medical Center
St. Vincent Charity Medical Center is Cleveland’s Catholic, high-quality health care provider. Our distinguished doctors and caregivers are devoted to treating every patient with clinical excellence and compassionate care. St. Vincent Charity Medical Center is home to the renowned Spine and Orthopedic Institute and the Center for Bariatric Surgery. Owned by the Sisters of Charity Health System, St. Vincent Charity Medical Center delivers care for the heart of Cleveland. For more information, visit www.stvincentcharity.com.   
About Mercy Medical Center
Mercy Medical Center, a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System, operates a 476-bed hospital serving Stark, Carroll, Wayne, Holmes and Tuscarawas Counties and parts of Southeastern Ohio. It has 620 members on its Medical Staff and employs 2,500 people. Mercy operates outpatient health centers in Carroll County, Jackson Township, Lake Township, Louisville, North Canton, Plain Township and Tuscarawas County. A Catholic hospital, Mercy Medical Center upholds the mission and philosophy of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine and continues to be responsive to the needs of the community. For more information, visit www.cantonmercy.org.
About St. John Medical Center
Co-owned by University Hospitals and the Sisters of Charity of Health System, St. John Medical Center is a Catholic health care provider. The medical center is recognized for outstanding centers of excellence such as Emergency Services, Orthopedics, Pain Management, Women’s and Children’s Services and Cardiovascular Services, as well as unique services such as its Kidney Stone Center, Holistic Birthing Center and Balance Center. Recognized by several national organizations as one of the country's best community hospitals, the medical center continues to expand its role as a leading provider of health care in northeastern Ohio. St. John Medical Center is currently in the midst of a five-year, $100 million strategic plan to include hospital-wide modernization and expansion. The plan will also align the medical center more closely with University Hospitals' centers of excellence and institutes, such as its nationally ranked UH Case Medical Center, UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, MacDonald Women’s  Hospital  and UH Seidman Cancer Center. The medical center was founded in 1981, and, this year, is celebrating 30 years of service to the community.
About the Ohio Health Information Partnership
The Ohio Health Information Partnership is a nonprofit, state-designated entity responsible for establishing regional extension centers to assist physicians and hospitals with information technology and for creating the infrastructure for a health information exchange in the state. Ohio has received $44,146,199 in federal funding including $14, 872,199 for the health information exchange (CliniSync), $28.5 for regional extension centers and $774,000 for critical access hospitals.  The State of Ohio contributed $8 million when The Partnership first formed.  The Partnership includes the Ohio State Medical Association, Ohio Osteopathic Association, Ohio Hospital Association, BioOhio and the State of Ohio. The partnership is funded through the Office of the National Coordinator, U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services, grant numbers 90RC0012 and 90HT0024. Visit the Ohio Health Information Partnership at www.clinisync.org.