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HealthAlliance Hospital Named 2013 Most Wired

Jul 10, 2013 - Leominster, MA -HealthAlliance Hospital has once again been named to the prestigious list of Most Wired hospitals in the country. This year marks the 15thanniversary of Health Care’s Most Wired Survey and the sixth consecutive year that HealthAlliance Hospital has received a Most Wired Award, ranging from Most Wired – Most Improved to Most Wireless and since 2011, the Most Wired Award. In that time, hospitals and health care systems have made great strides in establishing the basic building blocks for creating robust clinical information systems aimed at improving patient care. This includes 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.

“Once again, I am extremely proud of our Information Systems (IS) team and all of the HealthAlliance employees and physicians who make this happen,” remarked Patrick L. Muldoon, FACHE, President and CEO of HealthAlliance Hospital. “No doubt our advanced information systems have allowed us to achieve the “safest hospital” status in Massachusetts for two years in a row by Consumer Reports. Most importantly, these systems enable us to provide a safe and quality service for our patients and community.”

“This year’s Most Wired organizations exemplify progress through innovation,” says Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association. “The hospital field can learn from these outstanding organizations ways that information technology (IT) can help to improve efficiency.”

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 concept of health information exchange is absolutely correct. We need to do it and do it in a robust, refined way,” states Russell P. Branzell, president and CEO of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives. “The answer here is standards, standards, standards. We need to standardize the entire process, which we’ve done in almost every other business sector.”

    The 2013 Most Wired Survey, whose participants included 1,713 hospitals across the country, 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.

  • 32 percent of Most Wired hospitals conduct controlled experiments or scenario-planning to make better management decisions.

    “Meaningful use has been a top priority for chief information officers (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.”

  • 41 percent of Most Wired hospitals provide a patient portal or Web-based solution for patient-generated data.

“Electronic technology, in all its many forms, represents a potent tool that can be placed in the hands of skilled and caring providers,” stated Dan O’Leary, MD, Chief Medical Officer at HealthAlliance Hospital. “Medical illness can occur any time of day or night, and many providers are involved in providing care. As we continue to improve the ability of providers to access all the patient information, communicate with each other, and receive guidance in contemporary best practice, we move closer and closer to everyone’s goal of ideal care of the people of our community.”

The July Hospitals &Health Networks cover story detailing results is available at www.hhnmag.com.