Nation's Most Wired Hospitals Improve Efficiency with Health Information Technology
Lowell General Hospital has been recognized as one of the nation's MOST WIRED for the second consecutive year, according to the results of the 2012 Most Wired Survey released in the July issue of Hospitals & Health Networks magazine. Lowell General is one of nine hospitals in Massachusetts to earn the prestigious honor.
The nation's Most Wired hospitals are leveraging the adoption and use of health information technology (IT) to improve performance in a number of areas, according to Health Care's Most Wired 2012 Survey released today. As a field, hospitals are focused on expanding and adopting IT that protects patient data, and optimizes patient flow and communications.
"Information Technology helps Lowell General drive standardization, communication and integration," says Joseph White, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer overseeing Information Services at Lowell General Hospital. "IT is key to Lowell General's promise to provide high quality, affordable care for our patients. Lowell General is building a system to engage our patients and clinicians with the goal of driving and supporting outcomes throughout the communities we serve."
Among the key findings this year:
- Ninety-three percent of Most Wired hospitals employ intrusion detection systems to protect patient privacy and security of patient data, in comparison to seventy-seven percent of the total responders.
- Seventy-four percent of Most Wired hospitals and fifty-seven percent of all surveyed hospitals use automated patient flow systems.
- Ninety percent of Most Wired hospitals and seventy-three percent of all surveyed use performance improvement scorecards to help reduce inefficiencies.
- One hundred percent of Most Wired hospitals check drug interactions and drug allergies when medications are ordered as a major step in reducing medication errors
"As shown by these survey results, hospitals continue to demonstrate how IT not only can be used to improve patient care and safety but it is also a means to improve efficiency," says Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the AHA. "Hospitals receiving Most Wired recognition are truly representative of our nation's hospitals and systems – rural and urban, small and large, teaching and non-teaching, and critical access hospitals geographically dispersed."
"Equipping caregivers with the information needed to drive quality, safety and efficiency will continue to be an imperative as the challenges facing health systems grow increasingly complex," says Pat Blake, president, McKesson Technology Solutions. "The effective use of health IT, including actionable analytics and connectivity, can be a strategic lever as hospitals and health systems work to drive better outcomes while managing capacity, reducing costs, and coordinating care across multiple settings and caregivers."
Of note, social media is catching on among the Most Wired hospitals for crisis communications, nearly one half compared with one-third of total responders use this media. More than 25 percent offer care management messages and chats with physicians.
Health Care's Most Wired Survey, conducted between January 15 and March 15, asked hospitals and health systems nationwide to answer questions regarding their IT initiatives. Respondents completed 662 surveys, representing 1,570 hospitals, or roughly 27 percent of all U.S. hospitals.
The July H&HN cover story detailing results.