Affinity Health System recognized for outstanding achievements in health care delivery
Health system named winner of 2009 McKesson VIP Award
08 / 03 / 2009
Maria Nelson, Media Relations
Affinity Health System
(920) 554-0686 (pager)
APPLETON, Wis. - Affinity Health System has received a 2009 VIP Award from McKesson Technology Solutions for its use of information technology (IT) to achieve outstanding results in the delivery of health care to the community. The VIP Awards are presented annually to organizations that demonstrate vision, innovation and performance in the use of health care IT.
Affinity Health System was recognized for its use of IT as part of an initiative to reduce community tobacco use. Tobacco use affects more than 46 million Americans and is the most preventable cause of premature death in the United States. Alarmed by high usage rates among adults and teens in its community, Affinity Health System created the Call it Quits program, and selected McKesson’s RelayHealth call center software as the backbone of the project.
The Call it Quits program offers a telephone-based counseling service or classroom support for people who are ready to become tobacco-free. Using the RelayHealth technology, Affinity Health System created a database to manage information on program participants. Call center staff are available at all times to offer support, and the database flags patients to receive calls from the center during key milestones to help encourage them to stay on track. The technology also enables the program to automatically notify participants of educational opportunities.
“Using the software as part of our Call it Quits program made supporting a large patient population much easier and more effective,” said Rita Svatos, RN BSN PN, Affinity Health System. “The system lets us create a tobacco cessation program that gives everyone a personalized quit plan, which is an important part of the program.”
Since the program started in 1997, Wisconsin has seen a five percent and 16 percent reduction in adult and teen tobacco usage respectively. Affinity Health System also has exceeded the national average for tobacco quit rates while achieving high patient satisfaction with the program.
Affinity Health System is one of five healthcare organizations selected this year by a panel of judges – who are considered experts in the field of healthcare IT use – to receive the award. In honor of its achievements, the system’s local hospital foundations will receive a $10,000 grant from McKesson.
“As the industry prepares for government stimulus incentives, implementing EHRs and optimizing the use of health IT have become even higher priorities for hospitals and physicians,” said Michael Brozino, senior vice president of marketing, McKesson Provider Technologies. “Our customers have long understood the role that health IT can play in reducing the cost of care while providing the best possible treatment to patients. It’s an honor to recognize these customers for their outstanding achievements.”
VIP Award applicants underwent a rigorous judging process based on six weighted criteria: definition of the business objective, quality of the process used to make improvements, use of McKesson solution in enabling the improvement, impact on clinical and/or financial issues, improvement in service to the community, and the method used to measure results.
For more information on the award, visit www.mckesson.com/VIPawardnews.
For the Editor:
Affinity Health System, a faith-based regional health care network, is the Fox Valley’s second-largest employer, according to the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce & Industry. For the fourth consecutive year, Affinity has been named one of the nation’s top 64 health systems based on clinical performance according to Thomson Reuters, a leading provider of information and solutions to improve the cost and quality of health care. For ten consecutive years, Affinity Health System has been named to the SDI (formerly Verispan) Integrated Health Network Top 100, an annual assessment of the 100 most highly integrated health care networks in the nation. Both St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton and Mercy Medical Center in Oshkosh rank among the top 1 percent of hospitals nationwide in terms of quality and efficiency, as determined by the 2007 Premier | CareScience Select practice National Quality Award. Members of Affinity include Mercy Medical Center and Mercy Health Foundation, Oshkosh; St. Elizabeth Hospital and the St. Elizabeth Hospital Foundation, Appleton; Affinity Medical Group, a regional network of 25 family practice and specialty clinics – 22 of which are recognized as NCQA Level III medical homes, the highest level of recognition – in 14 communities; Calumet Medical Center, Chilton; and Affinity Occupational Health.