Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC touts its technical edge

By Bernie Monegain
10:59 AM

Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC staged its grand opening on April 16, with hospital executives touting the new facility as unparalleled among pediatric hospitals nationwide in its level of technological sophistication and resources dedicated to family-centered care.

The first outpatients will be seen at the new campus on Monday. The hospital officially opens at 6 a.m. on May 2.

"Today marks the beginning of an exciting new era for Children's Hospital," said Mary Jo Howard Dively, chairwoman of the Children's Hospital Board of Trustees, at the grand opening. "We can now say with pride that we have an amazing new campus to match the world-class physicians, nurses and staff who have made Children's such a special place for the patients and families from this region and across the country."

The new Children's Hospital is a technologically advanced campus and one of the first pediatric hospitals in the nation built from the ground up to support an electronic health record, hospital officials said. It features an environmentally sustainable design, innovations to improve patient safety and an atmosphere built to enhance the healing process for patients and their families.

Children's Hospital has been a national leader in the introduction and adoption of electronic health records since 2002, when it became the first pediatric hospital in the country to fully implement a Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) system, which greatly reduces the risk of medication errors and improves patient care, according to hospital executives.

Since then, it has adopted a fully integrated electronic health record called the Children's eRecord. The technology is supported by an infrastructure that includes more than 4,000 computers, mobile monitor carts, more than 400 miles of cabling in the main hospital, 2,000 wireless access points and full coverage for most wireless technologies.

"The new Children's Hospital, along with the $100 million contribution to the Pittsburgh Promise, are expressions of UPMC's commitment to the children and families of this region," said Jeffrey A. Romoff, president and CEO of UPMC. "The opening of this facility ushers in a new era of healthcare and introduces another platform for economic development in this region,"

The $625 million campus includes a 296-bed main hospital and four other buildings on a 10-acre campus in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh. The campus, with 1.5 million square feet of usable space, replaces a smaller, outdated campus in Oakland. The new hospital is 25 percent larger than the Oakland hospital, and the new John G. Rangos Sr. Research Center is 50 percent larger than its predecessor.

Pittsburgh-based architectural firm Astorino designed the hospital with input from patients, families and caregivers.

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