St. Charles Health System is one of only two health care organizations in Oregon to receive the American Hospital Association’s Most Wired Award, which recognizes great strides in the creation of robust clinical information systems aimed at improving patient care.
The health system’s efforts toward implementing a closed-loop medication and administration program — commonly referred to as “e-prescribing” — and devising a strategy for a community health information exchange culminated in its award.
“Our relentless push to improve patient safety and quality of care has holistically led us to receiving this recognition,” said Bill Winnenberg, St. Charles’ chief information officer. “I’m really proud of this because we got there by simply doing the things that were right for our organization.”
Most Wired health care organizations are adopting technologies to improve patient documentation, advance clinical decision support and evidence-based protocols, reduce the likelihood of medication errors and rapidly restore access to data in the case of a disaster or outage.
“This year’s Most Wired organizations exemplify progress through innovation,” said Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association. “The hospital field can learn from these outstanding organizations ways that IT can help to improve efficiency.”
Health Care’s Most Wired Survey, conducted between Jan. 15 and March 15, asked hospitals and health systems nationwide to answer questions regarding their IT initiatives. Respondents completed 659 surveys, representing 1,713 hospitals, or roughly 30 percent of all U.S. hospitals.
Among some of the key findings this year:
- Sixty-nine percent of Most Wired hospitals and 60 percent of all surveyed hospitals report that medication orders are entered electronically by physicians. This represents a significant increase from 2004 results when only 27 percent of Most Wired hospitals and 12 percent of all hospitals responded, “Yes.”
- Seventy-one percent of Most Wired hospitals have an electronic disease registry to identify and manage gaps in care across a population compared with 51 percent of total responders.
- Sixty-six percent of Most Wired hospitals share patient discharge data with affiliated hospitals, in comparison to 49 percent of the total responders. Thirty-seven percent of Most Wired hospitals do so with non-affiliated hospitals versus 24 percent of total responders.
The 2013 Most Wired Survey also covered some new areas such as big data analytics and patient generated data. An emerging practice, big data analytics looks at large amounts of data to uncover patterns and correlations.
- Thirty-two percent of Most Wired hospitals conduct controlled experiments or scenario planning to make better management decisions.
“Meaningful use has been a top priority for CIOs and hospital executives, but understanding all of the data will be critical as new relationships continue to evolve,” says Rose Higgins, vice president, strategic solutions, RelayHealth, McKesson’s connectivity business unit. “Data analytics will be essential to helping hospitals balance quality of care and cost requirements in a new environment of risk-based reimbursement and evidence-based medicine.”
- Forty-one percent of Most Wired hospitals provide a patient portal or Web-based solution for patient-generated data.
“The bottom line is that care must be connected and continue wherever the patient is — whether that’s in the hospital or the doctor’s office or in the home,” said Dr. Geeta Nayyar, MD, MBA, chief medical information officer for AT&T. “The healthcare industry has lagged behind other industries, such as banking and travel, in tapping technology that can engage the patient and connect the continuum. We are finally seeing real progress as an industry, but there is still more to do.”
The July H&HN cover story detailing results is available at www.hhnmag.com.