Hugh Chatham named a 2015 ‘Most Wired’ hospital

Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital has 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 conducted by the American Hospital Association’s Health Forum and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME).

The hospital is one of only six North Carolina hospitals, and is the only Piedmont Triad area hospital, to achieve the Health Care’s Most Wired or Most Improved recognition this year. The honor will be formally presented at the annual Health Forum and American Hospital Association Leadership Summit later this month in San Francisco.

Most Wired hospitals use information technology (IT) to coordinate patient care, reduce the likelihood of medical errors, and to better connect disparate care providers.

“This is an exciting recognition for Hugh Chatham, coming on the heels of the hospital recently achieving stage six of seven for electronic medical record adoption according to the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), putting us in the top 22 percent of all U.S. hospitals in that category,” said Paul Hammes, chief executive officer.

“Achieving the status of Most Wired, in addition to the HIMSS Stage 6 designation, reflects a culture that prizes teamwork and striving for excellence.” Hammes added that Hugh Chatham had been named as the best community hospital IT department by Healthcare IT News in 2011 and 2012.

“We have been working towards this for nine years,” said Lee Powe, chief information officer at Hugh Chatham. “It is an honor to receive Most Wired with the great MIS staff we have here at Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital.”

The 17th annual Most Wired assessment, conducted between Jan. 15 and March 15, 2015, considered how hospitals use information technology to improve performance for value-based healthcare in the areas of infrastructure, business and administrative management, quality and safety, and clinical integration. This year, more than 741 participants responded to the survey, representing 39 percent of all U.S. hospitals.

According to the survey, hospitals are taking more aggressive privacy and security measures to protect and safeguard patient data. Top growth areas in security among this year’s Most Wired organizations include privacy audit systems, provisioning systems, data loss prevention, single sign-on and identity management.

The survey also found that as hospitals and health systems begin to transition away from volume-based care to more integrated, value-based care delivery, hospitals are using IT to better facilitate information exchange across the care settings. This includes greater alignment between hospitals and physicians.

Other survey findings about Most Wired hospitals included that the physician portal is a key factor in strengthening physician-hospital alignment and that health systems are using patient portals to actively involve patients with education and self-management tools for chronic conditions.

“We commend and congratulate this year’s Most Wired hospitals and their CIOs for improving care delivery and outcomes in our nation’s hospitals through their creative and revolutionary uses of technology,” said CHIME CEO and President Russell P. Branzell, FCHIME CHCIO. “These Most Wired organizations represent excellence in IT leadership on the frontlines of healthcare transformation.”

“Congratulations to our nation’s Most Wired hospitals for harnessing the potential of information technology to improve quality care and patient safety and lower health care costs,” said Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the AHA. “At the forefront of the field, these hospitals are setting the bar for protection of patient data through discerning security measures.”

Detailed results of the survey and study can be found in the July issue of Hospitals & Health Networks.

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