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HCGH Named Technology Company of the Year

June 25, 2012
For Immediate Release               
Contact: Sharon Sopp, 410.740.7646,

Hear about the latest technology advances at Howard County General Hospital, Johns Hopkins Medicine, from Jim Young, chief financial officer at HCGH in this interview with the Howard County Economic Development Authority:

Columbia, Md. – Howard County General Hospital, Johns Hopkins Medicine (HCGH), built nearly 40 years ago on the old Bassler farm, has changed a great deal, but “cows” still roam the hallways. Not the bovine variety, but the “Computers on Wheels” variety. Nearly 200 portable COWs are in use by nurses and other clinicians to administer or document care. Hospital staff have a little fun with these high tech machines. COWs, while not in use, are “grazing” and COWs waiting for repair are labeled “out to pasture.”

COWs are just one of many technological advances employed at HCGH that led the Howard County Economic Development Authority to name the hospital Technology Company of the Year.

Other advanced technology in use at the hospital includes:

  • Mobilab – a system that allows clinicians to scan and print labels for lab orders at the bedside, reducing errors to near zero.
  • A Provider Order Management (POM) system, which allows physicians to place orders electronically. No more illegible handwritten notes.
  • An Electronic Medication Administrative Records (EMAR) system, a bedside medication tracker ensuring the four rights: right patient, right medication, right dose at the right time.

Despite the recent technology boom, the hospital isn’t just quietly chewing its cud. HCGH continues its focus on patient care and safety and the hospital’s next frontier is Epic, the most prominent electronic medical records system for healthcare providers on the market today. The hospital is making a significant financial investment to completely convert its clinical systems to Epic. HCGH is one of the first hospitals in the Johns Hopkins Medicine system to implement the technology, expected to go-live in June 2013.

It’s not just about the technology, it’s really about the people, said Jim Young, chief financial officer, HCGH. “People are our most important resource. Even as we implement and adopt IT solutions, it is the people at Howard County General Hospital that I like most about my job. You could have the greatest technology solutions in the world, but if you don’t have good people, then the technology is nearly worthless.”

Howard County General Hospital: A Member of Johns Hopkins Medicine is a not-for-profit health care provider with 249 licensed beds located in Columbia, Maryland. A comprehensive, acute-care medical center, Howard County General offers a full range of services, from neonatal care and oncology to outpatient treatment and critical care.

The hospital has a professional staff of nearly 900 physicians and allied health professionals, representing more than 80 specialties and subspecialties; a workforce of more than 1,700 individuals and nearly 500 volunteers.