Monday, May 18, 2009

Continued Economic Downturn Forces Sutter Health to Adjust Information Services Staffing Levels

SACRAMENTO, Calif, May 18, 2009 -- In response to the continued economic downturn affecting the health care industry and all California employers, the Information Services (IS) Department of Sutter Health today announced staffing reductions.

Today 121 employees based at Sutter’s IS facility in Rancho Cordova received notification that they will lose their jobs on July 17, 2009. Sutter Health and its affiliated hospitals and physician organizations continue to employ approximately 1,500 IS staff in Sacramento and other communities around Northern California.

“This decision was one of the most difficult I’ve ever had to make,” said Sutter Health Chief Information Officer Jon Manis. “These are dedicated and talented professionals who have provided tremendous value to our organization. Unfortunately, these staffing changes are necessary. We have a higher responsibility now more than ever to our patients who pay for health care to be good stewards and to keep our services affordable.”

Sutter has decided to release employees affected by staffing reductions today to give them the next two months paid, before severance benefits begin, so they can focus on finding new job opportunities. These employees will also receive payment of health coverage premiums for the duration of their severance and job placement services (e.g., resume writing, professional networking via online social media sites and interviewing skills).

A number of the affected positions support Sutter Health’s electronic health record (EHR). Sutter recently launched its first hospital-based EHR in Burlingame. However, due to the economic downturn, hospital-based installations will not resume until sometime after 2009. Sutter does plan to accelerate the completion of its EHR rollout to affiliated physician organizations where approximately 80 percent of health care services are delivered today.

Sutter Health remains committed to implementing a single, integrated EHR across the care continuum. Sutter has fully implemented the EHR in five of its eight affiliated physician organizations (medical foundations), further connecting more than 2,000 physicians in the coordinated care of patients across much of Northern California. The Sutter-wide EHR now encompasses information about the care of more than 1 million patients. More than 200,000 patients are accessing their personal health records online.

About Sutter Health

Serving patients and their families in more than 100 Northern California cities and towns, Sutter Health doctors, hospitals and other health care service providers join resources and share expertise to advance health care quality and access. The Sutter Medical Network includes many of California’s top-performing, highest quality physician organizations as measured annually by the Integrated Healthcare Organization. Sutter-affiliated hospitals are regional leaders in cardiac care, women’s and children’s services, cancer care, orthopedics and advanced patient safety technology. For more information about the not-for-profit Sutter Health family, please visit

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