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Texas Health Research & Education Earns Alliance for Continuing Medical Education’s Great Idea Award

ARLINGTON, Texas — Texas Health Research & Education Institute will receive the 2010 Great Idea Award for hospitals and health systems from the Alliance for Continuing Medical Education.

The award recognizes Texas Health Research & Education’s initiative to provide continuing medical education (CME) credit for physicians who serve on committees that develop order sets for Texas Health’s electronic health record (EHR) implementation across its 14-hospital system.

The Alliance, an international organization for CME professionals, presents the award for innovative contributions related to the field of CME and specific to a member type such as hospitals and health systems. The award recognizes a best practice, great idea or program that promotes sharing in learning.

“It’s a tribute to Texas Health’s spirit of innovation in CME and information technology to receive this prestigious recognition,” said Ferdinand T. Velasco, M.D., chief medical information officer at Texas Health Resources. “The order set CME program helps not only physicians, but also the millions of North Texans who are benefitting from Texas Health’s electronic health record implementation.”

By 2012, all of Texas Health’s 14 facilities will be using the EHR, which is a computer-based family of systems for collecting, organizing, sharing, and managing clinical and administrative patient information. The ultimate goal is improved quality of care and patient safety.

The EHR uses order sets — groups of medical protocols to help the physician manage a disease state or for a procedure — to reflect the latest evidence-based medicine findings and help support work flow between primary care physicians, specialists and the hospital to achieve optimum patient care.

Committee members across the system, which spans 16 counties in North Texas, meet virtually via a Web conferencing tool to discuss order sets for a given procedure that will ultimately be loaded into the EHR.

Physicians serving on the committees play a key role in reviewing the evidence-based medicine literature and determining how the protocols should be applied. The Texas Health Research & Education initiative enables the physicians to receive CME credit for the committee learning they do in helping prepare the EHR protocols.

“This award recognizes how our CME program is integrated into the process for improving professional practice,” said Marilyn Peterson, M.A., CCMEP, director of CME for Texas Health Research & Education. “As a CME provider, it’s gratifying to collaborate with physicians, IT professionals and other stakeholders to support quality improvement throughout Texas Health.”

The award will be presented at the Alliance’s Annual Conference in New Orleans, Jan. 27, 2010.

About Texas Health Research & Education Institute
Texas Health Research & Education Institute is an independent, not-for-profit organization within Texas Health Resources. Our vision is to advance health through research and education. Accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, Texas Health Research & Education conducts research that contributes to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease, and offers continuing medical education to physicians and other health care professionals. For more information, visit

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. Texas Health’s system of 14 hospitals includes Texas Health Harris Methodist, Texas Health Arlington Memorial, and Texas Health Presbyterian, and an organization for medical research and education. Texas Health Organization for Physicians and Texas Health Physicians Group provide a variety of models for engagement with physicians. Texas Health Partners is a joint venture development and management company owned by Texas Health Resources. Texas Health MedSynergies is a joint venture that offers physicians a range of office management and other business services to support their practices. Texas Health is a corporate member or partner in six additional hospitals and surgery centers. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit

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