SOURCE: Catholic Healthcare West

April 16, 2007 15:58 ET

CHW's San Francisco Hospitals Go Paperless

Electronic Medical Record System Continues to Roll Out at CHW's 42 Hospitals

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 16, 2007 -- Catholic Healthcare West (CHW) announced today that two of its member hospitals in San Francisco, Saint Francis Memorial Hospital and St. Mary's Medical Center, have implemented and are actively using computerized medical records and physician order entry to improve the quality and safety of services delivered to patients.

The patient care initiative, called CareConnect, integrates advanced clinical information systems, standardizes best clinical practices, and optimizes clinical workflow to create a digital environment that supports the delivery of personalized care. The system will improve patient safety by providing clinicians with the latest medical knowledge at the point of care. Physicians and other health care professionals at both hospitals now have faster access to information necessary for patient-care decisions.

Saint Francis Memorial Hospital implemented the electronic documentation portion of CareConnect in early December 2006, followed by Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) in January. St. Mary's Medical Center implemented all CareConnect functions in early March 2007. To date, physicians at both hospitals are enthusiastically adopting the new technology with more than 80 percent of physician orders being entered electronically. CPOE can decrease medication errors by helping to ensure the right dosage of medicine is ordered and that there are no contraindications in the prescribed medications.

"This is first and foremost about patient safety," stated Dr. Gifford Leoung, CareConnect Medical Director at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital. "We worked closely with our caregivers to develop and implement a system that will improve upon the excellent care we deliver every day. We are very pleased with the degree of ownership the physicians exhibited."

Dr. John Umekubo, CareConnect Medical Director at St. Mary's Medical Center, is a member of the Physicians Advisory Group that developed the standard practices built into the decision support capabilities of the system. "Our physicians have been preparing for several years to make CareConnect a reality for our patients," he remarked. "It's rewarding to see the fruits of our labor."

Physician adoption of CareConnect is complemented by high clinical adoption by nursing, therapy, pharmacy, lab, radiology, admissions, dietary, social services, spiritual care, and emergency departments that exchange information electronically.

Catholic Healthcare West is implementing CareConnect at all of its 42 hospitals in California, Arizona, and Nevada. In addition to its San Francisco hospitals, CHW has implemented CareConnect at Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz. CHW selected Cerner Corp., of Kansas City, Mo., and Perot Systems of Plano, Tx., to build and implement the technology at these hospitals. Five CHW hospitals in the Sacramento area and Glendale Memorial Hospital in Glendale are next in line to implement CareConnect.

About Saint Francis Memorial Hospital

Located atop Nob Hill near the downtown business and visitor centers in San Francisco, Saint Francis Memorial Hospital meets the health care needs of the community with a wide spectrum of programs and services. Saint Francis is renowned for orthopedic specialties in sports medicine, spine injuries and joint replacement as well as comprehensive burn and wound care and occupational health. Additional information is available at

About St. Mary's Medical Center

For 150 years, St. Mary's Medical Center has provided the Bay Area with compassionate, personalized care combined with the latest advances in medical care and cutting-edge technology. St. Mary's is a full-service acute care facility with more than 575 physicians and 1,100 employees who provide high-quality and affordable health care services to the Bay Area community. Home to advanced medical practices, such as the nation's first digital cardiac catheterization laboratory, pioneering spine surgery and comprehensive rehabilitation, St. Mary's Medical Center is one of San Francisco's leading hospitals, offering patients a full range of outpatient and inpatient services delivered with the human touch. Additional information is available at

About Catholic Healthcare West

Catholic Healthcare West (CHW), headquartered in San Francisco, CA, is a system of 42 hospitals and medical centers in California, Arizona and Nevada. Founded in 1986, it is the eighth largest hospital system in the nation and the largest not-for-profit provider in California. CHW is committed to delivering compassionate, high-quality, affordable health care services with special attention to the poor and underserved. The CHW network of more than 8,500 physicians and approximately 50,000 employees provides health care services to more than four million people annually. In 2007, CHW provided $803 million in charity care and unsponsored community benefit. For more information, please visit our website at

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Tricia Griffin
    (415) 438-5524