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Happy New Year! I hope you enjoyed the holidays and a chance to reconnect with family and friends. Each new year brings with it the opportunity for renewed energy and focus to the things we value the most. At UI Health Care, our relentless commitment to ensuring patient safety and quality outcomes is at the top of that list.

One of the most important ways in which we have advanced that goal is through the implementation of Epic, our electronic medical record system. For example, 248 of our beds in the ICUs, Respiratory Care Unit, Burn Unit, Main Operating Room, and Ambulatory Surgery Center actively take advantage of the technology by supporting integration with bedside biomedical devices directly into Epic. This immediate feed eliminates the need for manual transcription, which in turn reduces the possibility of human error.

Some of Epic’s other important capabilities include: patient access to their care team and medical record via MyChart; electronic access to patient information for 150 referring sites through the CareLink secure portal; and the ability for patients to provide medical histories prior to their clinic appointments through Epic’s Welcome module.

Epic has a great deal more functionality for us than we have even begun to use—and we plan to take full advantage of its varied capabilities and components in the coming year to provide even better, safer, more efficient care to our patients. The possibilities are exciting and—thanks to the concerted efforts of physicians, nurses, IT staff and many others working together—promise to do much to enhance the health and well-being of our patients.

Signed, Jean Robillard

UI Health Care Human Rights Week

UI Health Care will be partnering with The University of Iowa for the 2011 Celebration of Human Rights from Jan. 17 to 21. Activities sponsored by UI Health Care will include the 2011 Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Lecture and Reception, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Blood Drive, and the UI Health Care Human Rights Week Diversity Resources Fair. A full listing of activities taking place on campus can be viewed here. More information about UI Health Care programming will be available in the near future.

UI Carver College of Medicine pharmaceutical conflict-of-interest policy recognized

The Carver College of Medicine was recently recognized for having one of the strongest pharmaceutical conflict-of-interest policies in the country. The College received an “A” for teaching medical students to understand institutional conflict of interest policies, to recognize how industry promotion and marketing can influence clinical judgment, and to consider the ethics around conflict of interest. The American Medical Student Association (AMSA) PharmFree Scorecard (www.amsascorecard.org), now in its fourth year, offers a comprehensive national overview, as well as an in-depth, school-by-school analysis in 11 areas, including gifts and meals from industry to doctors, paid promotional speaking for industry, acceptance of free drug samples, interaction with sales representatives, and industry-funded education.

Congratulations to Debbie Thoman and her group in the UI Health Care Compliance Office for receiving this important honor.

Upcoming Mini Medical School in Cedar Rapids

On Tuesday, Jan. 25, the UI Carver College of Medicine will host its “Breakthroughs in Medicine at Iowa” program. From genetics to stem cells to “virtual” anatomy, participants will learn about cutting-edge medical research and education at the University and the teams of physicians, scientists, and others collaborating on new knowledge, new technologies, and new treatments who make the breakthroughs happen. Mini Medical School is free and open to the public. Space is limited and registration is required. Register by phone at 877-MED-IOWA or online.

Fear discovery could lead to new interventions for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Researchers at The University of Iowa have pinpointed the part of the brain that causes people to experience fear—a discovery that could improve treatment of PTSD and other anxiety conditions. Published recently in the journal Current Biology, the study investigates how the emotion of fear depends on a functioning almond-shaped brain region called the amygdala. Dr. Daniel Tranel, UI professor of neurology and psychology and senior study author, said the discovery could lead to new interventions for PTSD and related anxiety disorders. PTSD affects more than 7.7 million Americans, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH); and a 2008 analysis by the Rand Corporation predicted that 300,000 soldiers returning from combat in the Middle East would experience PTSD. For more information, click here.

Health at Iowa

Health at Iowa is a consumer newsletter published by UI Health Care, Iowa’s only comprehensive academic medical center. The website is a continuously updated source for information on healthy living, expert medical care, online videos, and more. For additional information, click here.

UI Hospitals and Clinics Support Groups

Over 25 specialized support groups exist for UI Hospitals and Clinics patients and their families. For more information about each group and to find out how to participate please click here.

Mitten Tree at UI Hospitals and Clinics

Please help decorate our tree with new hats, scarves, mittens, and gloves. Items will be donated to local United Way agencies such as Four Oaks Youth Homes, the Domestic Violence Intervention Program, and Girl Scouts of the Mississippi Valley. The tree will be in UI Hospitals and Clinics main lobby through Jan. 28. If you have questions, please contact Amy Rood at 356-2515.

2011 UI Children’s Hospital calendars now available

The 2011 UI Children’s Hospital calendars are now available. Calendars are $8 each and feature artwork from kids treated at UI Children’s Hospital. To purchase a 2011 calendar, stop by one of the upcoming UI Children’s Hospital merchandise sales or contact Children’s Miracle Network at cmn@uiowa.edu or 335-8484.


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