When Sentara Healthcare CIO Bert Reese visits an outside hospital that has implemented electronic medical records, he always hears the same boast: “We are a data-rich organization.” And he always has the same question: Yes, but what are you doing with the data?”

When H1N1 was spreading, Norfolk, Va.-based Sentara’s medical leadership agreed on a standard set of protocols for diagnosing the flu strain to help physicians understand the differences between H1N1 and other types of flu. The protocols were immediately shipped out to all acute care and ambulatory physicians in the eight-hospital delivery system through the enterprise EHR from Epic Systems Corp.

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