Emory Healthcare Honored Among 2013’s Most Wired Health Care Systems!

2013 Most Wired Hospital OrganizationsEmory Healthcare is on a roll! 2013 marks the 15th anniversary of Health Care’s Most Wired Survey, and once again, Emory Healthcare has been honored as one of the most wired health care organizations!

Over the last 15 years, hospitals and health care systems have made great strides in establishing the basic building blocks for creating robust clinical information systems aimed at improving patient and family care. This includes adopting technologies to improve patient documentation, advance clinical decision support and evidence-based protocols, reduce the likelihood of medication errors, and rapidly restore access to data in the case of a disaster or outage.

“This year’s Most Wired organizations exemplify progress through innovation” says Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association. “The hospital field can learn from these outstanding organizations ways that IT can help to improve efficiency.”

The Most Wired survey, conducted by the magazine Hospitals & Health Networks, helps health care organizations review their progress with implementing innovative technologies and see how they compare to others. The survey looks at technology related to infrastructure, clinical quality and safety, clinical integration, and business and administrative management.

Emory Healthcare’s technological success and ability to innovate is a direct result of the authentic partnership among members of our Information Services department, staff and physicians.

Congratulations to our team on this award! Thank you to our Information Services team for all you do to lead us in technology innovation – advances that make a positive difference for our patients and your fellow employees!

You can check out some of the key findings from the 2013 Most Wired Survey below, and get full detailed results in the July H&HN cover story:

  • Sixty-nine percent of Most Wired hospitals and 60 percent of all surveyed hospitals report that medication orders are entered electronically by physicians. This represents a significant increase from 2004 results when only 27 percent of Most Wired hospitals and 12 percent of all hospitals responded, “Yes.”
  • Seventy-one percent of Most Wired hospitals have an electronic disease registry to identify and manage gaps in care across a population compared with 51 percent of total responders.
  • Sixty-six percent of Most Wired hospitals share patient discharge data with affiliated hospitals, in comparison to 49 percent of the total responders. Thirty-seven percent of Most Wired hospitals do so with non-affiliated hospitals versus 24 percent of total responders.
  • 32 percent of Most Wired hospitals conduct controlled experiments or scenario-planning to make better management decisions.
  • 41 percent of Most Wired hospitals provide a patient portal or Web-based solution for patient-generated data.

Health Care’s Most Wired Survey, conducted between Jan. 15 and March 15, asked hospitals and health systems nationwide to answer questions regarding their IT initiatives. Respondents completed 659 surveys, representing 1,713 hospitals, or roughly 30 percent of all U.S. hospitals.

Nearly 50% of 2013 Atlanta Top Doctors are at Emory

Atlanta Top Doctors 2013As our Emory Healthcare family continues to grow, so too does our ability to provide Atlanta and Georgia residents access to more Top Doctors. In 2011, more than 1/3 of all the doctors honored in Atlanta Magazine’s list of “Top Docs” were Emory physicians. By 2012, nearly half of the 315 physicians recognized as Atlanta’s best doctors practiced at one of our Emory hospitals or clinics. And now in 2013, again, nearly half of the physicians recognized as best in Atlanta, are those who practice at an Emory facility and/or who are Emory University School of Medicine faculty.

We celebrate, honor and thank all of our physicians—and the care teams that work with them—for putting the care in health care and making patient- and family-centered care their priority each and every day.

And thanks to our recently expanded footprint, communities all over Atlanta and throughout Georgia have access to even more Top Doctors who work tirelessly to advance medicine and further treatments.

Big or small, major or minor, if you have a reason to visit a hospital, you now have an Emory Healthcare facility and an Emory Healthcare Top Doctor close to home.

See the full list of Emory’s 2013 Atlanta Top Doctors!

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Enhancing AHA STEMI Treatment Guidelines When Every Minute Counts

AHA STEMI Treatment GuidelinesFor heart attack victims, every minute counts- hence the saying “time is muscle.” Experts say victims of heart attacks have better outcomes with rapid intervention to open and unclog their blocked arteries, and clinical guidelines recommend that acute heart attack patients undergo treatment within 90 minutes of arrival in the emergency room.

Recently, Emory University Hospital (EUH), Emory University Hospital Midtown (EUHM), Emory Johns Creek Hospital (EJCH) and Saint Joseph’s Hospital–all four participating Emory hospitals–received the American Heart Association Mission Lifeline Bronze Recognition award for excellence in STEMI (ST-elevation myocardial infarction) heart attack care for 2012.

A STEMI heart attack, the most severe form of heart attack, is caused when a blood clot suddenly forms, completely blocking an artery in the heart. This can result in damage that covers a large area of the heart and extends deep into the heart muscle, which is why rapid treatment is a priority to save as much heart muscle as possible. STEMI heart attack treatment options consist of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), which includes both angioplasty and stenting; clot-busting medication; and coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG).

Emory hospitals, like many other hospitals, have long participated in the “Door to Balloon time within 90 minutes” performance measure for STEMIs. Since Emory was hitting this target nearly 100% of the time, the team decided that wasn’t good enough. They decided to raise the bar for patients coming in via ambulance by starting the clock at time of “first medical contact” with the paramedics, instead of when they arrived at the hospital’s doorstep.

“We thought the clock needed to start ticking when EMS arrived and assessed the patient in the field for a STEMI,” says Abhinav Goyal, MD, MHS, associate professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology at Emory, and director of quality for cardiology at EUH and EUHM. “Therefore, we began re-working the process with the AHA, making sure that EMS vehicles were equipped with ECG machines and all EMS personnel were trained to obtain and interpret field ECGs.” Goyal is also co-chair of the Atlanta Mission Lifeline Data Quality Subcommittee.

“It took about three years for Emory hospitals to achieve a 95 percent success rate in the Door-to-Balloon metric when we committed to it seven to eight years ago,” explains Michael Ross, Michael Ross, MD, professor of emergency medicine at Emory and co-chair of the Atlanta Mission: Lifeline Program. “But our successes came much quicker with the new First Medical Contact to Balloon performance measure. This is a true testament to the dedication and commitment of the Emory Healthcare system.”

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Emory Hospital First in Atlanta to Earn Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification

Joint Commission Stroke Center Certification

Congratulations to Emory University Hospital who recently joined an elite group of fewer than 30 centers nationwide with its Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification from The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association! Emory University Hospital is the only hospital in metropolitan Atlanta to earn this designation and just one of two in Georgia. Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification recognizes only those hospitals that have state-of-the-art infrastructure, staff and training to receive and treat patients with the most complex strokes. Emory University Hospital underwent a rigorous onsite review by The Joint Commission in February 2013.

So, what does this all mean for you? It means that our Emory University Hospital stroke team provides advanced care, including:

  • A state-of-the-art neurointensive care unit, created especially for critically ill stroke patients
  • Neurosurgical interventions for complex conditions that can arise in stroke patients
  • Advanced imaging capabilities
  • Fellowship-trained neurointensivists available 24/7, ready to perform vascular procedures if needed
  • Access to a multidisciplinary team of specialists, including board-certified fellowship-trained stroke neurologists, world-renowned vascular neurosurgeons, highly skilled and experienced interventional neuroradiologists, a board-Certified and fellowship trained neurocritical care team and diagnostic neuroradiologists
  • Thirty-four neurocritical-care unit beds, six neuro step-down or intermediate-care beds and 41 acute-care floor beds

Emory Stroke Center CertificationThe Emory Stroke Center team provides 24/7 coverage and receives early warning about a patient arriving with stroke symptoms. This early notification ensures rapid assessment and stabilization, and an immediate CT brain scan to establish onset time and to determine eligibility for various treatment options.

Stroke is a disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. According to the American Stroke Association, stroke is the number four cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States. Immediate treatment is essential when someone is having a stroke to reduce the effects and potential for permanent disability. Not close to Emory when an emergency strikes? Nearly half of our patients are transferred from other hospitals, and most of those arrive via helicopter. The Emory Healthcare system also has three Primary Stroke Centers accredited by The Joint Commission, including Emory University Hospital Midtown, Emory Johns Creek Hospital and Saint Joseph’s Hospital.

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We’re Moving to a New Home – The Emory Bariatric Center

Emory Healthcare ExpansionWe are excited to inform you that The Emory Bariatric Center is moving to a new home at Emory University Hospital Midtown. As a result, Arvin Singh, MD, and registered dietitian, Meagan Moyer, will be seeing all bariatric patients in the new clinic location. The Emory Bariatric Center’s new office is located on the 7th floor of Emory University Hospital Midtown’s Medical Office Tower. Emory University Hospital Midtown is conveniently located near I-75/85 and I-20 in Midtown Atlanta.

Celebrating Our Physicians on Doctors’ Day: Past, Present & Future

At Emory Healthcare, our team’s focus on providing truly patient- and family-centered care never takes a holiday. So, we make it a point to thank our awesome team of doctors for the work they do year round and around the clock, but we’re especially proud to recognize them on National Doctors’ Day.

Doctors’ Day marks the anniversary of Dr. Crawford W. Long’s contribution to medicine by performing the first administration of anesthesia. Each year on Doctors’ Day, we celebrate our physicians for continuing the tradition of advancing the delivery of high-quality health care and dedicating themselves to our patients and their families.

This year, we asked members of our community on Facebook to share with us which Emory doctors are most special to them. The feedback our patients and community shared honoring our doctors is truly heart warming. We’ve included screen shots of our community’s feedback below, or you can view the whole Doctors’ Day Facebook thread here.

Emory Healthcare Facebook Doctors' Day

And, to make sure that we’re training the next generation of Atlanta’s top doctors, Emory Healthcare is launching a scholarship on behalf of the Emory Healthcare medical staff. Emory Healthcare will sponsor one or two Emory University School of Medicine students for all four years of their education. One in every four physicians in Georgia have been trained at Emory, so what better way to invest in the future and to ensure the legacy of our team continues for generations to come?

Join us in celebrating Emory Healthcare doctors this Doctor’s Day by giving your doctor a shout-out  in the comments field below!

Doctors' Day Facebook comments

Doctors Day Facebook Comments Emory Healthcare

Emory Healthcare Facebook Doctors' Day Comments
Emory Healthcare Doctors' Day Testimonials

Doctors' Day Facebook comments


Emory University Hospital Expansion…by the numbers!

If you have visited us at an Emory Hospital or Clinic location on Clifton Road recently, you’ve likely noticed that we are under construction! The variety of projects taking place are preparing for the arrival of our new hospital tower, which will provide additional beds and clinical space on the Clifton Campus of Emory Healthcare.

You may be surprised to learn that as of right now, much of the construction to make room for the new 9 story hospital bed tower is actually happening underground. So while you have to look down to see all of the action, rest assured that when this project is complete, we will be able to provide you with even better patient and family-centered care. Here’s a little trivia to bring you up to speed on our growth:

Q: When will you reach the bottom of the hole?
A: Fall 2013 is when we hope to have this part of the hospital expansion project completed.

Q: That’s one giant hole! How many truckloads of dirt will be removed?
A: We are estimating 18,683 trucks of dirt will be removed in preparation for the new hospital bed tower.

Q: How many tons of rock will we be blasting out of the excavation?
A: 64,968 tons. That is 129,936,000 pounds!

Q: How many gallons of water will the excavation hold?
A: 40,394,800 gallons of water which equals 430,877,867 12 ounce cans of Coca-Cola.

New Hospital Bridge Emory Hospital Expansion

New bridge from Lowergate parking deck.

Q: So, what’s next up as Emory Healthcare continues to expand?
A: The hospital expansion project will begin in the fall of 2014. Once the new hospital tower construction is complete, we will have 210 new patient beds, new operating rooms, additional diagnostic and treatment spaces, ICU rooms and hundreds more parking spaces. When the expansion project is complete, we will close 82 patient rooms in the oldest part of Emory University Hospital (EUH), as they no longer meet our growing technological needs. The new hospital tower will connect to EUH via a two-level pedestrian bridge, with one level primarily used for patient transport. The building will also connect to The Emory Clinic Buildings A, B & C (Winship Cancer Institute), as well as the Lowergate Parking Deck.

You can keep an eye on our expansion project at

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A VERY Special Delivery at Emory University Hospital Midtown

Dana Tottenham in front of Emory University Hospital Midtown

Dana Tottenham, with new born son, Adlai, in front of Emory University Hospital Midtown

Two days ago, new mother-to-be Dana Tottenham and her friend Sherry Ebrahimi attended Emory’s Founders Day Dinner together. “It’s our annual ritual. We always go as each other’s ‘date,’ and I joked that I had to make it to 37 weeks pregnant to not miss the dinner this year! (My 1st child was premature, so I was at risk for pre-term delivery again).”

Dana and Sherry enjoyed the dinner, and yesterday, the two attended the My Emory celebration on the campus quad, where Sherry brought Dana a hot chocolate and everything was business as usual, until suddenly, Dana went into labor.

Dana asked co-workers and friends Sherry and Elizabeth Manieri to drive her to Emory University Midtown Hospital (EUHM). A few frantic phone calls were made as Sherry drove so Dana’s husband was aware she had gone into labor and would meet her at the hospital.

Nature intervened. Midway through the short drive to EUHM, Dana’s labor escalated. The ladies pulled into the hospital’s valet parking area and Elizabeth quickly raced to get the doctor and Dana’s husband. In that short time, Dana and Sherry had delivered Dana’s newborn baby—a boy, weighing 6 lbs 0.7 oz—right in the car.

“I never doubted that we would make it to the hospital in time. Of all the people in the universe, Sherry was the best person to be my charge nurse–doula-driver-and midwife on that fateful day. I did have to fight through every contraction to not push, because I felt the baby’s head crowning as we were on Ponce de Leon. As soon as we pulled up to the hospital curb, I simply surrendered to the moment, and Adlai was born,” recalls Dana.

Sherry recalls the fairly chaotic moment with an overwhelming sense of peaceful joy, “It was one of the most amazing experience of my life! When I saw the baby coming, I grabbed him and held him while Dana reached down and untangled the umbilical cord. When I passed him to her it was the most beautiful newborn- mom moment—my eyes got teary and I exited the car so they could have a bonding moment. Surprisingly, I was calm—I think because we were parked in front of the hospital- so I knew help was on the way. Dana was calm the whole time…an absolute rock star through it all.”

Minutes later, medical help and Dana’s husband, Eric, arrived to celebrate the birth of Adlai Tottenham Chang. Dana says of her baby’s grand entrance, “Adlai Tottenham Chang (boy), was born February 5, 2013 @ 12:14 pm in a Toyota Camry, right outside Emory University Midtown Hospital. He’s 6 lbs 0.7 oz., 46 cm long.” Adlai, whose name means “God is Just,” joins his big brother Lyndon in the family.

“You may have heard of another Adlai (Stevenson)- US Ambassador to the United Nations during Kennedy and LBJ’s administration (Brother Lyndon’s namesake). We think our little guy has global ambitions. He was born in a car, so he’s ready to hit the road and meet the world!” Dana exclaims.

From the whole Emory Healthcare family, welcome to the world, Adlai.

Welcoming the Paces Plastic Surgery Center to the Emory Healthcare Family!

Paces Plastic Surgery Center Emory PartnershipAt Emory Healthcare we pride ourselves in developing and maintaining outstanding relationships with talented physicians and associates across Atlanta and the state of Georgia. As we continue our efforts to build partnerships to improve patient care, we’re happy to announce the acquisition of the plastic surgery practice of Roderick Hester, MD and Foad Nahai, MD, along with the Paces Plastic Surgery Center, located in Buckhead.

Both Dr. Hester and Dr. Nahai are associate professors of surgery of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Emory University’s School of Medicine.

“Emory Healthcare has a robust plastics and aesthetics practice that focuses primarily on reconstructive surgery,” says Donald Brunn, president and chief operating officer of The Emory Clinic. “This new endeavor will expand the scope of Emory’s clinical practice and will enable patients to receive a full range of coordinated, integrated aesthetics care and services under one comprehensive program and under one roof.”

Emory’s highly trained plastic surgeons provide a variety of surgical services to the Atlanta community, including breast reconstruction; ocular-plastics and ophthalmology; facial plastics and otolaryngology (including head and neck reconstruction) and hand and upper extremity reconstruction.

Our partnership with Dr Hester and Dr. Nahai will be finalized in Spring 2013, at which time the name of the Paces Plastic Surgery Center will change to Emory Aesthetics Center, and the practice will become part of The Emory Clinic’s Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. The staff and physicians will continue to meet the highest quality standards and work from one electronic medical record and patient portal system to ensure seamless communications between patients and their physicians

“We look forward to this collaboration as we deliver outstanding services to our patients under the Emory brand,” says Hester. Hester and Nahai are considered by peers to be among the best of the nation’s aesthetic plastic surgeons.

“The benefits of this partnership include helping the center to grow and expand, while offering a wide range of services to patients by skilled health care providers,” Nahai explains.

About the Practice:
Dr. Roderick Hester founded what was then called Paces Plastic Surgery and Recovery Center in 1993. It remains one of the nation’s most comprehensive centers for the care of plastic surgery patients and features state-of-the-art clinical areas, operating rooms and over night recovery suites. The doctors at the Paces Plastic Surgery Center also offer an array of nonsurgical support and treatment services including CoolSculpting™, photofacials, hydrafacials, laser hair removal, facials, chemical peels and more.

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Robotic Surgery – Emory Johns Creek, Making Big Strides with Tiny Instruments

Last year, Emory Johns Creek Hospital purchased a da Vinci® Surgical System and took robotic-assisted surgery at the hospital to a whole new level. The da Vinci® SI, or Streamlined Integrated, is the most technologically advanced system available on the market. It allows surgeons to use tiny robotic instruments they control in real-time to perform minimally invasive procedures requiring only small incisions.

Amy Fischer, Director of Surgical Services for the hospital, says robotic surgery offers patients “a much quicker recovery with virtually no scarring.” It can also simplify more complex surgeries. “Patients who would normally be down and out for six weeks are up and going in a matter of two to three weeks,” says Fischer. “They use less pain medication, and there’s less risk of infection.”

Gynecological surgeons were the first to use the system, to perform hysterectomies and remove fibroids with less pain and blood loss and, in many cases, preserving fertility.

“We hit the ground running and have really just soared with the program,” Fischer says. “In a matter of a year we have grown to offering not just GYN surgery, but general surgery, GYN-Oncology, colorectal and bariatrics.”

Bariatric surgeons are now also using robotic technology to perform gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy for weight loss, and Emory Johns Creek Hospital was only the second in the Atlanta area to perform Single-SiteTM gallbladder surgery, a procedure that is now used nationwide. Using Single-SiteTM technology, a cholecystectomy can be performed in about one hour, with a typical hospital stay of less than 24 hours. Thanks to its success with the procedure, the hospital will soon be a case observation site.

Over the past year, more than 300 patients have benefited from the da Vinci® Surgical System. “We have a phenomenal team that has grown with the program,” Fischer says. “And we have had excellent patient outcomes.”

For more information about Emory Johns Creek Hospital and the DaVinci technology visit our website today.