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West Jefferson Named 2013 Most Wired | Nation’s Most Wired Hospitals Demonstrate Progress Through Innovation

West Jefferson Medical Center has been recognized as one of the nation's Most Wired, according to the results of the 2013 Most Wired Survey released in the July issue of Hospitals & Health Networks magazine.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of Health Care’s Most Wired Survey. 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.

“West Jefferson is a forward-thinking organization that makes solid investments in those areas that can help us provide excellent care and service to our patients in the most efficient ways possible,” said West Jefferson’s Chief Information Officer, Nick Thimis. “We are honored to be recognized as a Most Wired hospital, but more important than any prestigious award is the positive impact these new technologies are having on those who entrust us with their health and lives.”

Among 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 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 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 patientgenerated 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.”

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.

The July H&HN cover story detailing results is available at www.hhnmag.com.