SOURCE: McKesson

May 24, 2005 11:14 ET

Ascension Health to Make Healthcare Safer With McKesson Clinical Systems

Strong Relationship and Guiding Tenets Drive Additional Deployments Across Four Hospitals

ATLANTA, GA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 24, 2005 -- As part of its Call to Action to deliver "Healthcare That Works, Healthcare That Is Safe, and Healthcare That Leaves No One Behind," Ascension Health has chosen McKesson to support clinical excellence initiatives for hospital ministries that were already McKesson customers located in Georgia, Alabama, Florida and Indiana. Ascension Health, the nation's largest nonprofit health system, has committed to equip its ministries with the clinical IT systems required to support safer, higher-quality care through the use of electronic medical records while significantly reducing dependence on manual, paper-based processes.

The agreement with McKesson extends existing investments and includes a wide range of Horizon Clinicals™ solutions, including systems to enhance medication safety, electronically document patient care and create electronic medical records. Physicians and other clinicians will have "anytime, anywhere" access to patient information via a secure, Internet-based physician portal, enabling them to monitor patient progress from remote locations and make more informed decisions. Ascension Health will also implement McKesson's Horizon Expert Orders™ for computerized physician order entry and advanced clinical decision support, equipping physicians at the point of care with evidence-based clinical knowledge to make the best possible decisions for patients.

"This investment reflects Ascension Health's commitment to provide every patient who seeks care in one of our facilities with the benefit of clinical excellence, safer care and a patient-centered healing environment," said Sherry Browne, chief information officer for Ascension Health. "Putting systems in place to support the use of electronic medical records, equipping our caregivers with the appropriate IT tools and re-engineering processes are all essential to fulfilling our mission."

Tim Stettheimer, vice president and chief information officer for Ascension Health's flagship digital hospital, St. Vincent's Hospital in Birmingham, Ala., will lead the deployment, in his additional role of regional chief information officer. He is charged with implementing the new clinical solutions at Providence Hospital in Mobile, Ala., Sacred Heart Health System in Pensacola, Fla., St. Joseph Hospital in Augusta, Ga., and St. Mary's Health System in Evansville, Ind.

"Our ability to deliver clinically excellent care in our ministries can only be realized through the use of enabling technologies that encourage adoption through proven value," said Stettheimer. "These new technology acquisitions are a logical continuation of a 20-year strategic partnership with McKesson that will expand the needed clinical foundation to more regional providers. We look forward to growing the track record of success we've achieved with Horizon Clinicals."

Ascension Health will use a consolidated data center to host the new clinical applications, and it will take a team-based approach to installing the solutions for a fast, repeatable design, build and deployment. "Our success depends on not only installing the systems but, more importantly, achieving wide scale adoption," Stettheimer said. "The sooner we can eliminate manual and inefficient processes with these solutions, the sooner we'll achieve our Call to Action for a better healthcare system."

"We are excited about this opportunity to broaden our relationship with Ascension Health," said Pamela Pure, president of McKesson Provider Technologies. "Clinical excellence and enhanced medication safety demands a collaborative approach that leverages the best in software, services and consulting solutions that are working for hospitals today. Working together, we can significantly improve the quality, safety and efficiency of care delivered, and in doing so, achieve the ultimate goal of making healthcare safer."

About Ascension Health

Ascension Health is the nation's largest Catholic and nonprofit health system, with more than 100,000 associates serving in 67 acute-care hospitals and dozens of related facilities in 20 states and the District of Columbia. Consistent with its mission to serve all people with special attention to those who are poor and vulnerable, Ascension Health provides clinically excellent care with an emphasis on innovation and a focus on transforming the healthcare industry.

About McKesson

McKesson Corporation is a Fortune 15 healthcare services and information technology company dedicated to helping its customers deliver high-quality healthcare by reducing costs, streamlining processes and improving the quality and safety of patient care. Over the course of its 170-year history, McKesson has grown by providing pharmaceutical and medical-surgical supply management across the spectrum of care; healthcare information technology for hospitals, physicians, homecare and payors; hospital and retail pharmacy automation; and services for manufacturers and payors designed to improve outcomes for patients. For more information, visit us at

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