HUDSON, NY--(Marketwire - Jul 13, 2011) - In early 2010, Columbia Memorial Hospital launched an electronic health records system (EHR) to provide quick access to patient information, enhancing continuity of care. The system covers 26 clinical locations and more than 300 providers in Columbia and Greene counties.

That system, a "private cloud" hosted on a Stratus Technologies ftServer® system, was cited for excellence in the prestigious Computerworld Honors Program 2011. The hospital was a Laureate Medal Winner in Healthcare, one of eleven categories with winners honored by Computerworld at a ceremony held in Washington, D.C.

Cloud computing refers to the access of server-based resources via a digital network -- using the Internet to connect to securely stored health information.

"It is an honor to be included among this year's laureates. Receiving peer recognition from information systems professionals is very satisfying," said Cathleen Crowley, Columbia Memorial Chief Information Officer.

"What we've accomplished here and continue to build upon is improving quality delivery of healthcare services in our communities. We now have a majority of providers in the Columbia and Greene counties using EHR. As patients continue to use multiple providers and specialties, up-to-date health records will be immediately and securely accessible to care providers day or night, weekday or weekends, 365 days a year."

The hospital's innovative approach to EHR using a "private cloud" places it at the forefront of the IT industry's evolving model for providing efficient, cost-effective computing services. For clinics and physician practices, switching from paper records can be a daunting and expensive endeavor to implement electronic health record systems. Columbia Memorial's cloud model provides hundreds of practitioners with access to a complete and comprehensive EHR service without having to make their own technology investments.

"Implementing EHRs using a cloud model allows for less physical hardware to serve more users, and minimizes the IT management burden," said Crowley. "These new servers allow the hospital to take advantage of the cost savings that come with this model of delivery."

The Computerworld Honors Program, established in 1988, brings together the principals of the world's foremost information technology companies to recognize and document the achievements of the men, women, organizations and institutions whose visionary applications of information technology promote positive social, economic and educational change.

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Contact Information:

Tish Finnegan
Columbia Memorial Hospital

Ken Donoghue
Stratus Technologies