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Med center CEO praises year’s successes, looks ahead

Joe Podelco / Photo editor

At the State of the Medical Center presentation Thursday, Ohio State Medical Center CEO Steven Gabbe took the podium to praise the successes of the previous year, announced innovative changes to come and warned of the uncertain future.

Gabbe announced the expansion of the Integrated Health Information System, an electronic database of all patient medical records in the OSU Medical Center, to be completed on Oct. 15.

The system, which costs $115 million, will replace the current paper-based system to increase efficiency and access, Gabbe said.

“It means that when you go anywhere … you’re entire medical record is there,” Gabbe said.

Other medical center employees in attendance said the new system will be innovative.

“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity to change the care we give to our patients for the better,” said Phyllis Teater, chief information officer for the medical center.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded a $100 million grant to the OSU Medical Center in December 2010. The grant will add a new radiation therapy to the $1 billion ProjectONE expansion, Gabbe said.

The new facility is expected to double the capacity for cancer patient treatment, which is currently limited to about 1,500 patients a year, Gabbe said.

“We couldn’t treat over half the patients we diagnosed with cancer who needed radiation therapy,” Gabbe said. “We should (now) be able to treat all of our patients.”

Though still in the planning stage, the opening of the new facility is tentatively set for 2014, Gabbe said.

Though the medical center is innovating and expanding, Gabbe cited changes in federal and state leadership and the tenuous state of government funding amid the economic downturn as reasons for concern about the future.

“There will be a lot of change,” Gabbe said. But “We’ll be fine.”

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