News Feature | July 30, 2013

"Most Wired" Hospitals For 2013 Revealed

Source: Health IT Outcomes
Katie Wike

By Katie Wike, contributing writer

HTO Hospital

Health & Hospital Networks recently revealed its list of Most Wired Hospitals for 2013, all using IT in creative ways spurred on by federal regulations and technological advances

According the the results of the 15th annual Health Care’s Most Wired Survey conducted by Hospital & Health Networks, “A good percentage of hospitals and health systems have deployed technologies that 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.”

H&HN points out this hasn’t always been so, writing, “As recently as 2007... just 58 percent of Most Wired hospitals had systems capable of producing real-time alerts on drug-to-drug interactions. Fast forward six years and 100 percent of Most Wired hospitals now possess that capability, a major step in improving patient safety by reducing the likelihood of medication errors. Going back even further, in 2004, only 27 percent of physician medication orders at Most Wired hospitals were done electronically. That number is now up to 69 percent and climbing.”

H&HN credits some of these technological advances to federal regulations such as The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009 (HITECH), which requires hospitals and physicians not only adopt technology, but also use it meaningfully. H&HN quotes Linda Reed, R.N., chief information officer and vice president of behavioral and integrative medicine at Atlantic Health System as saying, “Meaningful use put technology in front of everyone. But meaningful use is just the base."

According to iHealth Beat, the survey evaluated hospitals based on four categories:

  • infrastructure
  • business and administrative management
  • clinical quality and safety
  • clinical integration

iHealth Beat notes “nearly 300 hospitals and health systems (were designated) as ‘Most Wired,’ as well as 25 hospitals as ‘Most Improved’ and 25 hospitals as ‘Most Wired -- Small and Rural.’" Of those “Most Wired” hospitals:

  • 71 percent use electronic disease registries, compared with 51 percent of all surveyed hospitals
  • 69 percent use electronic prescription systems, compared with 60 percent of all surveyed hospitals
  • 66 percent share patient discharge data with affiliated hospitals, compared with 49 percent of all surveyed hospitals
  • more than 40 percent of the "Most Wired" hospitals provide a patient portal or Web-based tool for patient-generated data
  • 37 percent use patient discharge data with non-affiliated hospitals, compared with 24 percent of all surveyed hospitals

The survey also revealed 64 percent of Most Wired hospitals have either a pilot or fully rolled-out personal health record program.

Geeta Nayyar, M.D., chief medical information officer of survey-sponsor AT&T, notes the significance of these results as well as the need for the industry to continue to press on. “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. 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.”

US News & World Report released its own rankings, categorizing medical centers across the country in 16 different specialties. Their criteria was slightly different - US News & World Report based its rankings on reputation, patient survival, patient safety, and care-related factors such as the amount of nurse staffing and the breadth of patient services. However, both surveys ranked several hospitals at the top of their lists including: