Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital has again earned Most Wired status as one of the nation’s health leaders in information technology. The accomplishment is based on results of a national survey released this week by the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Health Forum. The hospital was also named among the country’s Most Wired in 2015. This year, Hugh Chatham is one of only nine North Carolina health care organizations, and the only Yadkin Valley region hospital, to receive the recognition.
The survey of 680 participants, representing an estimated 2,146 hospitals and more than 34 percent of all hospitals in the U.S., examines how organizations are leveraging IT to improve performance for value-based health care in the areas of infrastructure, business and administrative management; quality and safety; and clinical integration. If any of the multiple requirements in each category is not met, then the organization does not receive the Most Wired designation.
“This is exciting recognition for Hugh Chatham, reaffirming that we have one of most advanced community hospital IT departments in the country,” said Paul Hammes, chief executive officer. Hammes cited as an example that Hugh Chatham has achieved stage six of seven for electronic medical record adoption according to the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), a milestone that only about 1 in 4 U.S. hospitals have attained.
Results of the 18th Annual Health Care’s Most Wired survey found that technology is improving the efficiency of care delivery and creating more dynamic patient interactions. “Hospitals are breaking out of their traditional four walls and providing care where and when patients need it,” said Rick Pollack, president and CEO of the AHA. “These Most Wired hospitals exemplify this transformation by harnessing technology, engaging patients and offering services remotely. And, removing policy and other barriers to telehealth will allow even faster adoption of these amazing technologies.”
According to the survey, hospitals are using telehealth to fill gaps in care; provide services 24 hours a day, seven days a week; and expand access to medical specialists. Examples include telehealth services for office visits, stroke care and behavioral health services, as well as E-visits through mobile applications.
Another emerging trend is the use of internet-enabled monitoring devices to help manage care for patients who have chronic conditions such as congestive heart failure, diabetes and heart disease. Some organizations accept patient-generated data through their patient portals so that, for example, patients can monitor and upload blood pressure or blood glucose levels through the portal.
Hospitals are also taking actions to ensure health data is secure. For example, more than 90 percent of the health care organizations surveyed use intrusion detection systems and private audit systems to detect privacy breaches, monitor for malicious activity and produce real-time analysis of security alerts.
HealthCare’s Most Wired survey, conducted between Jan. 15 and March 15, 2016, is published annually by Health & Hospitals Networks (H&HN). The 2016 Most Wired survey and benchmarking study is a leading industry barometer measuring information technology (IT) use and adoption among hospitals nationwide. Detailed results of the survey and study can be found in the July issue of H&HN. For a full list of winners, visit www.hhnmag.com.