Norwalk Hospital is Named Among the “Most Wired” Hospitals in the Efficient Use of Information Technology
As the nation's healthcare system transitions to more integrated and patient-centered care, hospitals are utilizing information technology to better connect care providers, according to the 16th annual HealthCare's Most Wired Survey, conducted by Hospitals & Health Networks. Both Norwalk Hospital and Danbury Hospital were once again designated as "Most Wired" by this prestigious publication.
Most Wired hospitals are those that meet a set of rigorous criteria across four operational categories and have made tremendous gains by using IT to reduce the likelihood of medical errors. Among Most Wired hospitals, 81% of medications are matched to the patient, nurse and order via bar code technology at the bedside, and 67% share critical patient information electronically with specialists and other care providers.
"The investment in technology in today’s healthcare environment is critically important to improving patient care, reducing costs leading to better health outcomes,” said Kathy DeMatteo, chief information officer for Western Connecticut Health Network. “It is a very important tool for diagnosis, treatment and patient engagement."
Recent high-value adoptions in the technology arena at the hospitals include:
- Computerized physician order entry system
- Instant voice communication for clinicians
- Bedside computerized medication carts
- Electronic medical records
"The Most Wired data show that shared health information allows clinicians and patients to have the information they need to promote health and make the most informed decisions about treatments," said Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association. "Hospitals, their clinicians and their communities are doing tremendous work to enhance their IT systems in ways that support care and delivery improvement, and patient engagement goals."
Among some of the key findings related to improving quality and patient safety:
- Nurses and physicians share best practices for patient safety and use checklists at more than 90% of Most Wired organizations.
- To help consumers make better decisions about their healthcare, standard measures of individual hospital quality performance are reported and publicly available. Nearly half of Most Wired organizations share this information on their websites and 86% provide quality scores to clinical leaders on a regular basis as part of their performance improvement initiatives.
"Hospital leaders should be commended for the hard work they've done under an unrealistic time frame," said Russell P. Branzell, president and CEO of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, referring to federal requirements that healthcare providers adopt and meaningfully use a certified electronic health records (EHR). "Still, there is a substantial amount of work ahead. Effective C-suites view IT adoption as a collaborative effort. They have a clear strategic plan and know how IT fits into that."