MedStar Good Samaritan Uses iPad and Clever Alliance to Improve Geriatric Care

Baltimore—(December 7, 2017)—Along with a hot meal, fruit and milk, volunteers from the Maryland Chapter of Meals on Wheels are now visiting homebound patients, armed with an iPad. In a newly formed partnership with MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, volunteers for the non-profit food delivery program use the tablet to transmit updates on recently discharged patients to the hospital’s Center for Successful Aging. The initiative has cut hospital readmissions for those patients to nearly half.

George Hennawi, MD

“The Meals on Wheels representatives make routine stops to visit confined people who have limited food supplies, but the same people frequently suffer from chronic medical conditions, especially diabetes. They often are at risk for social isolation and depression, and have functional limitations,” said George Hennawi, MD, director of the department of geriatrics at MedStar Good Samaritan. “Providing a holistic approach is key.”

Using a questionnaire developed by MedStar Health geriatric experts, the Meals on Wheels representative can input responses into the Ipad and transmit the data to the hospital, where clinicians can determine if the patient needs to be seen.

“Keeping our patients healthy and out of the hospital after they’ve been discharged is a top priority,” said Dr. Hennawi. “Meals on Wheels is a vital partner in that effort, and we hope to keep expanding our community partnerships in the future because we believe senior health is a group effort. The best way to care for older adults is understanding their environment and their community and tailoring the services based on those individualized needs.”

The Meals on Wheels partnership is part of a larger effort by the Center for Successful Aging at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital to use technology to reach patients. The center has been reaching out to community centers and churches to build more partnerships to reach more discharged patients to keep them healthy and out of the hospital.

“At Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland we have seen first-hand how health literacy, poor nutrition, social isolation, and housing, concerns often attributed to poverty, can negatively impact health for our aging neighbors,” said Stephanie Archer-Smith, Executive Director of Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland, Inc. “We have also witnessed how quickly that trajectory can be altered when you combine good healthcare with proper nutrition, personal interaction, and shared communication. For a fraction of what it costs to hospitalize someone, we can provide services that will not only keep them out of the hospital but will improve their overall quality of life. We believe our seniors are worth the investment.”

The Center for Successful Aging and Meals on Wheels expect the program will lead to fewer hospitalizations and emergency room visits, better nutrition, improved medication compliance and increased health literacy.

For more information on the Center for Successful Aging, call: 443-444-4100.

About MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital

MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital is a 287-bed community teaching facility located at the corner of Loch Raven Boulevard and Belvedere Avenue in northeast Baltimore, with more than 130,000 patient visits annually. With Centers of Excellence in orthopaedics, rheumatology, rehabilitation, burn reconstruction, and renal care, as well as a certified Stroke Center and winner of the Delmarva Foundation Excellence Award for Quality Improvement for four years in a row, MedStar Good Samaritan serves people throughout Maryland, the Mid-Atlantic and internationally in these advanced specialties. MedStar Good Samaritan is part of MedStar Health, a not-for-profit, regional healthcare system with 10 hospitals and more than 20 other health-related services in the Maryland and Washington, D.C., region.

Media Contacts

Debra Schindler
Regional Director, Media & Public Relations, MedStar Health Baltimore
410-274-1260
[email protected]

Carrie Wells
Media Relations Specialist, MedStar Health Baltimore
443-613-1569
[email protected]

MedStar Response to Incorrect Media Reports

News reports circulating about the malware attack on MedStar Health’s IT system are incorrect. Our partner Symantec, a global leader in cybersecurity, has been on the ground from the start of the situation conducting a thorough forensic analysis. Symantec said, “The 2007 and 2010 fixes referenced in the article were not contributing factors in this event.” Based on the advice of IT, cybersecurity and law enforcement experts, MedStar will not be elaborating further on additional aspects of this malware event. This is not only for the protection and security of MedStar Health, its patients and associates, but is also for the benefit of other healthcare organizations and companies. Click here to read MedStar’s systemwide media release regarding incorrect media reports.

To stay up to date, please visit MedStar’s system newsroom.

April 4 (2 p.m.) MedStar Health Update

MedStar Health is deeply thankful for the hard work and determination of its IT team and partners and is greatly encouraged by the progress made to date. Thanks to their round-the-clock efforts over the weekend, our clinical and administrative systems are almost fully back online. We continue to resolve unique, site-specific issues on a real-time basis. Click here to read MedStar’s most recent media release regarding our computer network.

To stay up to date, please visit MedStar’s system newsroom.

2 p.m. MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital Update Regarding Computer Network

Thanks to the teamwork of MedStar Health’s 31,000 associates, as well as the expertise and dedication of MedStar’s IT and Cyber teams, systems were approaching 90 percent functionality this morning. With focused efforts on systems related directly to patient care, all three clinical systems are functioning. We cannot emphasize enough our appreciation for the support and understanding of the thousands of patients who have received care this week. Click here to read MedStar’s most recent media release regarding our computer network.

To stay up to date, please visit MedStar’s system newsroom.

5 p.m. MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital Update Regarding Computer Downtime

MedStar Health’s priority continues to be providing high quality, safe patient care, as we work to fully restore all of our major IT systems. Our doors remain open, with a few exceptions. With the dedication and commitment of our clinicians and associates, we are thankful that we have been able to perform more than 1,000 surgeries since Monday morning’s malicious malware attack. We have also been inspired by the continued support of our patients and communities. Click here to read MedStar’s recent systemwide media release regarding computer downtime.

To stay up to date, please visit MedStar’s system newsroom.

3 p.m. MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital Update Regarding Computer Downtime

MedStar Health continues to work towards full restoration of our major IT systems, thanks to the tireless efforts of MedStar leaders, IT, clinicians and associates—and the support of our patients and communities. Most importantly, MedStar has been privileged to provide high-quality care approximating our normal volume levels, as evidenced by the 6,000 patients we’ve served in our hospitals and ambulatory centers since Monday morning. Click here to read specific ways MedStar has remained dedicated to meeting the needs of our patients and communities, despite the malicious malware attack.

To stay up to date, please visit MedStar’s system newsroom.

Statement from MedStar Health Regarding Computer Downtime

Significant progress is being made toward restoring functionality of MedStar Health’s IT system, which was affected by malware early Monday morning. At the early signs of an issue, our team quickly made a decision to take down all of our systems as a precaution and to ensure no further corruption.

After a careful assessment and testing overnight, we are working to restore the majority of our IT systems today. We are using backup systems, including paper documentation—a process used before the advancements of technology—where necessary, and as an additional layer of support to our clinical operations. We will continue to partner with experts in the field of IT and cybersecurity, as well as law enforcement, to continually assess the situation as we safely restore functionality.


Every caregiver across the system is trained to prepare for these types of challenges, and our patients can be assured that their team of caregivers is well coordinated. Patients should feel confident that they will receive excellent care, and can continue to rely on our commitment to provide the highest levels of quality and safe care.

With a few unique exceptions, all of our doors remain open. As we shared yesterday, the safety of our patients and associates and the privacy of their information is our utmost concern. We have no evidence that patient information has been compromised or stolen in any way. Patient information will not be added to any system without ensuring it is completely free of any and all viruses and security threats.

“Despite the challenges affecting MedStar Health’s IT systems, the quality and safety of our patients remains our highest priority, which has not waned throughout this experience. Fortunately, the core ways in which we deliver patient care cannot be altered, manipulated or harmed by malicious attempts to disrupt the services we provide,” Stephen R.T. Evans, MD, executive vice president, Medical Affairs and chief medical officer, MedStar Health. “Our ability to serve our patients and their families depends first and foremost on our caregivers, and their expert knowledge and compassion focused on each patient.”

“The attempt to negatively impact an institution designed to save lives and care for those in need is a sad and troublesome reality of our times, not only for MedStar Health, but for our entire industry and the communities we serve,” says Kenneth A. Samet, FACHE, president and chief executive officer, MedStar Health. “Fortunately, thanks to the expertise and dedication of our clinical and IT teams, we are addressing the current issue in an expeditious and thoughtful manner, never losing sight of our responsibility to our patients.”

Media Contact

Ann C. Nickels
410-772-6661
[email protected]

MedStar’s New Website Is A One-Stop Resource For Accessing Doctors and Trusted Healthcare Information

medstar-health-logoColumbia, MD–(October 18, 2013)—MedStar Health’s newly integrated website—MedStarHealth.org—launches Monday, Oct. 21. It brings together 16 external websites into one system site, giving visitors easier access to physicians and services across MedStar Health. Now, consumers will have a single online destination for trusted healthcare information.

“True to our Patient First value, the new website was created with the end-user—our patients, families, job seekers, clinicians, associates, and consumers—in mind, creating a seamless experience focused entirely on the needs of the communities we serve. The website not only reflects the depth and breadth of services offered throughout and across MedStar Health, but it represents the strength of systemness in action,” says President and CEO Kenneth A. Samet, FACHE.

At MedStarHealth.org, visitors can:
           •  Search for any MedStar physician with one easy-to-use tool, Find a Doctor, which is accessible
              on every page
           •  Register for any MedStar class or program
           •  Find information on all services offered at MedStar
           •  Search the enhanced health encyclopedia for health topics from A to Z

Detailed service line content, like cancer, heart and orthopaedic care, is consolidated and updated with links to entity-specific information. Individual hospitals and other MedStar entities have their own subsites within the system site, and familiar sections have been updated, such as Patients and Visitors, About Us, Giving, and Careers.

About MedStar Health

MedStar Health combines the best aspects of academic medicine, research and innovation with a complete spectrum of clinical services to advance patient care. As the largest healthcare provider in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, MedStar’s 10 hospitals, the MedStar Health Research Institute and a comprehensive scope of health-related organizations are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. MedStar has one of the largest graduate medical education programs in the country, training more than 1,100 medical residents annually, and is the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University. MedStar Health is a $4.5 billion not-for-profit, regional healthcare system based in Columbia, Maryland, and one of the largest employers in the region. Our almost 30,000 associates and 6,000 affiliated physicians all support MedStar Health’s Patient First philosophy that combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit MedStarHealth.org.

Media Contact

Ann C. Nickels
410-772-6661
[email protected]