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Meliora Award honors staff who strive for ‘ever better’

Staff Recognition Awards

The Meliora Award recognizes a select number of staff members whose work performance and dedication during the preceding year exemplify the University’s motto, Meliora (ever better).

This year’s honorees include the team that implemented the Medical Center’s eRecord electronic medical record system; the team of associate directors in the Medical Center’s Center for Primary Care; and a team from University Security that includes those who responded to the student death on the River Campus last year.

Recipients will be recognized at a reception on Wednesday, May 2.  Their names will also be inscribed on plaques in the Medical Center and in Wallis Hall on the River Campus.

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Medical Center Information Systems Division eRecord Team

During an 18-month period, the eRecord implementation team pulled off a “herculean” task—switching the Medical Center’s patient record system from paper to digital.

The $50 million project introduced an integrated electronic medical record system at Strong Memorial and Highland hospitals last year. Medical Center leaders have called the system a cornerstone of the Medical Center’s Strategic Plan and its top priority—improved patient safety and quality care.

“The 170 members of this core team are responsible for nothing less than a revolutionary transformation in our clinical operations,” writes Medical Center CEO Bradford Berk in a letter supporting the team’s nomination.

Led by Medical Center Chief Information Officer Jerry Powell, Chief Medical Information Officer David Krusch, and Senior Director Dawn DePerrior, the team—which included Information System Division staff, along with significant contributions from many other Medical Center departments such as lab, imaging, dietary, and nursing—is credited with overcoming a number of challenges throughout the system’s implementation—including training nearly 14,000 faculty and staff on how to use eRecord and how to adapt to new workflows and policies that resulted from the new system.

As a result of the eRecord implementation, lab turnaround times on common tests have decreased around 17 percent, and staff members report that medication administration errors have been avoided. Staff members also indicate that they have been able to review patient data faster, allowing them to make quicker, smarter decisions about a patient’s care.

“Certainly (eRecord) has allowed us to evolve light years in our use of advanced information technology to improve the care we deliver to patients and even allow for the secondary use of this data to facilitate our clinical/translational research mission,” writes Michael Goonan, chief financial officer and vice president of the Medical Center in a letter nominating the group for the award.  “eRecord in and of itself has been truly transformational and positively impacts every URMC staff member’s life, every day.”

Primary Care Associate Director Team

group photo - 9 peopleThe associate directors of the Medical Center’s Center for Primary Care are being recognized for their work in the implementation of the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model among the network’s 20 practices and 107 providers in Monroe and Livingston counties.

The group includes (back row, from left) Thomas Pointon, Margaret Manchester, Shaun DeMartinis, (middle) Amy Matroniano, Nancy Blasio, (front) Sheri Flynn, Mary Jo Marlowe, Grace Allison, and Lori Martinez.

In the PCMH model, care is provided by a physician-led team with an emphasis on highly coordinated, easily accessible patient-centered care. There is strong focus on prevention and adherence to evidence-based practice guidelines. Practices that function as medical homes have a commitment to quality improvement and responsible stewardship of health care resources and costs.

“Their multidisciplinary experience was particularly valuable during the organization and implementation phase of the Patient Centered Medical Home,” write nominators Betty Rabinowitz, medical director of the network, and James Viscardi, executive director. “But beyond their expertise, the team conducted its efforts guided by the hallmarks of communication, collaboration, and coordination. Most importantly, the associate directors willingly accepted the challenge, responsibility, and accountability of continuous improvement.”

In February, the network was certified as Level 3 NCQA Patient-Centered Medical Home by the National Committee for Quality Assurance, an independent national organization that reviews and accredits managed care plans and measures quality.

Wallace Johnson, the Ralph W. Prince Professor of Medicine and director of the Center for Primary Care, supported the nomination, writing “The unparalleled immediate impact of PCMH on our patients’ health, on our patients’ and their families’ sense of involvement and participation in their care, and on staff and physician satisfaction in primary care is directly attributable to the ‘ADs’ and their talents in education and persuasion and their commitment to detailed follow-through at every operational level.”

University Security First Responders Team

group of security officersThe Security team responding to the Jan. 15, 2011, incident that resulted in the death of student Jeffrey Bordeaux is awarded a Meliora Award for their quick and professional response to the situation.

The team includes (from left) Assistant Director Daniel Lafferty, Lt. Matthew Ras, officers Daniel Schermerhorn, Edson Sawyers, Mark Smith, and Kevin Couchman, and Assistant Director Dana Perrin.

Walter Mauldin, director of University Security, describes the professional manner that officers maintained while trying to calm students at the scene and ensuring no others were harmed. They worked tirelessly, he says, to maintain control at the scene, despite difficult circumstances.

“There was only one way to serve—and that was to give their all to the best of their abilities—to serve the University and to be true to the highest values of their profession,” he says.

“The Security staff who were part of the response to the events of Jan. 15, 2011, will never forget the extraordinarily difficult and tragic circumstance in which they found themselves—and the quietly professional manner in which they conducted themselves.”

The team is also cited for the key role it played in the days, weeks, and months following the incident—during the investigation and the recovery process on campus.

“I believe that the exceptional work of the Security team played a central role in enabling the College to get through last year’s tragedy,” writes Richard Feldman, dean of the College. “From their prompt initial response through their participation in the painful conversations throughout the semester and beyond, their work was exemplary. It truly displayed the spirit of Meliora.”

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