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Avera earns 2011 Most Wired Innovator award

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- Avera Health was recognized as one of the nation's top three Most Wired Innovator Award winners according to the results of the 2011 Most Wired Survey released in the July issue of Hospitals and Health Networks (H&HN) magazine.

Avera is the only health system in South Dakota to achieve recognition in the Hospitals and Health Networks awards this year.

The magazine named Avera's ePharmacy service as one of three top recipients from a total of six finalists nationwide to receive the coveted award. Avera submitted the nomination, which was blind judged by an independent panel of chief information officers and other leaders selected by the editors of H&HN. Judges evaluated submissions on universality and achievement of stated business objectives, creativity and uniqueness of concept, impact on the organization, scope of solution, stage of implementation and technical creativity.

Avera implemented its ePharmacy service in 24 rural sites starting in January 2009. Twelve more sites are contracted to receive the service. ePharmacy provides hospitals in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota around-the-clock access to remote pharmacy. The service makes it possible for every medication order to be reviewed and approved prior to administration in inpatient situations. Additional objectives of ePharmacy are relief of pharmacist workforce shortages, meeting regulatory compliance measures and developing an operational sustainable model for delivery of pharmacy services to rural hospitals.

Avera is now partnering with hospitals both within and outside the system. Through secure networks connecting the non-system sites, Avera is able to focus expansion on rural, independent hospitals that have a significant need for ePharmacy services.

The health system will receive the award next week at the 2011 Health Forum and American Hospital Association Leadership Summit in San Diego, Calif.