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Geisinger's Ronald A. Paulus, MD, MBA, named to national work group on electronic health records

April 10, DANVILLE – Ronald A. Paulus, MD, MBA, Chief Health Information Technology Venture Officer and Special Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer at Geisinger Health System, has been named to a national work group on the functionality of inpatient electronic health records.

Work group members have been selected by the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT), based in Chicago, Illinois, a voluntary private-sector organization to certify healthcare information technology (HIT) products and processes. In September 2005, the United States Department of Health & Human Services awarded CCHIT a three-year contract to develop and evaluate certification criteria and create an inspection process for HIT in three areas: ambulatory electronic health records for office-based physicians or providers; inpatient electronic health records for hospitals and health systems; and the network components through which ambulatory and inpatient providers interact and share information.

“The mission of the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology is to accelerate the adoption of health information technology by creating an efficient, credible and sustainable product-certification program,” said Dr. Paulus. “I am honored to serve on this work group designed to help reduce the risk of HIT investment, ensure compatibility of HIT products, focus on improved quality of patient care, and protect the privacy of patients’ personal health information.  I look forward to sharing Geisinger’s significant experience in the selection, deployment, adoption and utilization of electronic health records to enhance care quality and efficiency.”

Paulus co-founded CareScience, Inc., a company that commercialized healthcare technology developed at the University of Pennsylvania. He jointly built and grew CareScience to nearly 200 hospitals and health system clients in more than 30 states nationwide. Under his leadership as president and CEO, CareScience pioneered the nation’s first company that provided an Internet-based quality management software solution to healthcare organizations and also created one of the first regional clinical data sharing networks—a precursor to the current interest in Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIOs). CareScience, a NASDAQ company, was acquired by Quovadx, Inc., of Evergreen, Colorado, in September 2003. Paulus was chief healthcare officer at Quovadx and responsible for healthcare strategy before joining Geisinger.

Paulus received both his Master of Business Administration and his MD degrees from the University of Pennsylvania before undergoing training in internal medicine at the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. He has been published in numerous medical journals and speaks nationally on healthcare technology and management issues.

Dr. Paulus is also a member of the Healthcare Information Technology Advisory Board for the JCAHO and he is a past member of the Information Technology Group of the Academic Medicine and Managed Care Forum, the Data Standards Workgroup of the National Quality Forum Institute of Medicine Summit on Information Technology, the Interoperability Workgroup for CCHIT and eHealth Initiative Leadership Council.

Geisinger Health System is the foremost rural healthcare provider in the United States.  Founded in 1915, it has evolved into one of the nation's leading fully integrated healthcare providers. Serving more than two million residents throughout central and northeastern Pennsylvania, the physician-led organization is at the forefront of the country's rapidly emerging electronic health records movement. With three major regional medical centers and a 650-member group practice, the pioneering system is home to the industry's pre-eminent not-for-profit rural HMO and the renowned Center for Health Research and Rural Advocacy—dedicated to creating innovative new models for patient care, satisfaction and clinical outcomes.