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October 1, 2003


Emory Healthcare Names Dr. Bornstein as First Chief Quality Officer

ATLANTA ­ Emory Healthcare has named William A. Bornstein, MD, PhD as its first Chief Quality Officer, with responsibility for quality improvement and patient safety initiatives throughout the enterprise. Emory Healthcare is the clinical arm of Emory University's Woodruff Health Sciences Center, consisting of the Emory Hospitals, Wesley Woods Center, The Emory Clinic, the Emory Children's Center, and joint ventures including EHCA, LLC and Emory-Adventist Hospital.

Dr. Bornstein is a veteran Emory administrator who has served in positions of steadily increasing responsibility since 1995, when he became assistant medical director at Emory Crawford Long Hospital. He was named chief quality officer of Emory Hospitals (Emory University, Emory Crawford Long, and Wesley Woods) in 2000 and medical director of information systems for Emory Healthcare in 2001.

John T. Fox, CEO of Emory Healthcare, said Dr. Bornstein's activities in his new role will build on existing system-wide initiatives, including the multi-year commitment launched in 2002 to implement an Emory Electronic Medical Record featuring computerized physician order entry, drug prescription, decision support, and patient medical histories. Such computerized systems have been repeatedly identified by researchers as key to the implementation of consistent, evidence-based treatment protocols and the avoidance of adverse drug interactions and other types of errors.

"Bill Bornstein has gained the trust and respect of physicians and administrators in every area of Emory Healthcare," said Mr. Fox. "By virtue of his intellect, training, temperament, and passion for superb medical care, he is ideally suited for this new system-wide set of responsibilities."

Dr. Michael M.E. Johns, CEO of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center and Chair of Emory Healthcare, adds that: "Creation of this new position is a clear statement of the importance of safety and quality to Emory. We are fortunate to have someone with Bill Bornstein's experience, insight, and ability to work within a complex organization to lead our efforts in this area."

A board-certified endocrinologist and internist, Dr. Bornstein earned his medical degree and PhD in cell and molecular biology from the Medical College of Georgia. He served an internship and residency in internal medicine at Duke and a fellowship in endocrinology at Harvard and the Massachusetts General Hospital, where he took a faculty position before coming to Atlanta in 1986 to practice at Emory Crawford Long Hospital.

At Emory, Dr. Bornstein has spearheaded a range of quality initiatives in such areas as central venous catheter safety, sedation, correct-site surgery, and a new "read-back policy" for doctors' verbal orders. He initiated and championed a medication safety program in Emory Hospitals that reduced the number of reported prescribing errors and won the 2002 Patient Safety and Quality Award for a health system from the Partnership for Health and Accountability.

The award recognizes health care organizations for achievement in reducing the risk of medical errors and improving patient safety and medical outcomes.

In addition, Dr. Bornstein will serve as principal liaison between Emory Healthcare's clinical safety steering committee and a new Emory Healthcare Board Committee on Quality, Safety and Service, which was recently formed to oversee educational programs, policies, and procedures for continuous improvement of the safety and quality of care rendered within the various entities of Emory Healthcare.

Dr. Bornstein has been a leader of Emory’s electronic medical records initiatives since the initial development of its clinical data repository in 1992. Along with Emory Healthcare CIO Dedra Cantrell, he developed the vision and plan for the Emory Electronic Medical Record project, which he co-leads with Ms. Cantrell.

"This project is really about building quality and safety into the workflow," says Dr. Bornstein. "However, the complexity of the care we deliver is such that process redesign alone will not suffice to attain breakthrough improvements without the use of enabling technology."

Dr. Bornstein has been a leader at the national level in quality and safety improvement initiatives. He is an advisor to The Leapfrog Group, a national organization founded by The Business Roundtable to advance patient safety and hospital quality. He serves on two steering committees of the University HealthSystem Consortium devoted to clinical process improvement evaluation, benchmarking, and information architecture.

The word "system" is the key to understanding how best to bring about improvements in the complex, fast-paced, cost-conscious world of modern health care, Dr. Bornstein says.

"My philosophy is that everybody is really working to the max these days," he explains. "Asking people to work harder is not going to be a successful approach. What we need to do is develop tools to make it easier to deliver safer care. We need to develop valid measurement systems, design improvement strategies, and measure the effects of our interventions. Then we need to collect and disseminate those strategies that are successful. "

Finally, he says, the health care system needs to "hard-wire" the most effective medical practices into its operations, using process improvement and redesign facilitated by computers, electronic patient charts and automatic reminders.

"For example, once we decide that we want each of our patients with diabetes to have a dilated retinal exam each year, we have to hard-wire that into our practice so it happens automatically," he says. "If we have to think consciously about a dilated retinal exam with every single diabetic patient we see, we won't be able to have a high quality of human interaction because our minds will be distracted and buzzing with everything we need to remember. These things can all be offloaded and wired into the system. By doing this thoughtfully and judiciously, we can ensure that undesired variation is reduced while at the same time, appropriate individualization of care is enhanced. In so doing, we deliver better care, we experience better patient satisfaction, and we have better provider satisfaction as well."

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