Most Wired National Award
2009 "Most Improved" on the Most Wired Survey and Benchmarking Study
Community Hospital has been named to the nation’s “Most Improved,” according to the results of the 2009 Most Wired Survey and Benchmarking Study released in the July issue of Hospitals & Health Networks magazine, the journal of the American Hospital Association (AHA).
“I’m extremely excited to have our organization recognized as a Most Improved hospital in the Most Wired Survey,” says Lori Beeby, Information Systems Director at Community Hospital. “It shows our continued commitment to the use of technology and our planning efforts. Our team of experts and the implementation of these systems continue to advance us.”
Four hospitals from Nebraska were named to the national 2009 Most Wired list:
- Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, Omaha – Most Wired
- Community Hospital, McCook - Most Improved
- Nemaha County Hospital, Auburn - Most Wired Small and Rural
- Regional West Medical Center, Scottsbluff - Most Wired Small and Rural
Marking its 11 year, the Most Wired Survey and Benchmarking Study continues to lead the field in analyses and benchmarking of healthcare IT.
The economic crisis is forcing many hospitals to make tough decisions with scarce resources, including delaying and scaling down information technology (IT) projects, according to a newly released survey of America’s “most wired” hospitals and health systems. While progress has been made and incentives to implement IT will be available through the recently passed stimulus legislation, many hospitals still have a long way to go.
“The impact of the economic slowdown on our organization is something that we evaluate on a daily basis, Beeby said. “We continue our philosophy to evaluate IT budgeting, planning and goals around our strategic objectives and information technology plans and not necessarily in reaction to short-term economic slowdowns,” she said. “
“As the health reform debate continues, it is clear that IT will play an even more important role in the health system of tomorrow,” says Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the AHA. “Most Wired hospitals help illustrate IT in action—improving efficiency, quality and safety of care while helping to control costs.”
Hospitals also continue to invest in IT that supports quality and safety initiatives. Investment in electronic medication management is considered one of the fundamentals of using IT to improve care. The 2009 Most Wired Survey and Benchmarking Study shows an overall increase in both provider order entry of medications and electronic bedside matching at the time medications are administered.
New technology that Community Hospital implemented last year included PACS and medical record scanning with physician review and sign-off. PACS, or digital imaging, allows the hospital’s imaging department to process and transfer X-rays electronically. Other information technology Community Hospital uses includes nursing documentation, automated medication dispensing, computerized lab and radiology, facility-wide automated registration processing and patient supply charging.
“This process of adding computer technology has been part of our strategic plan for years,” said Beeby. “We began working on the Hospital Information System (HIS) in 2000 and have been progressing forward since then.”
“It’s a huge process with financial and time commitments to grow our IT systems, from the board of directors on down to every department and employee,” she said. “But more importantly, we do it for the patient’s benefit and outcome. Improved information technology increases patient safety, quality of stay, efficiency and consistency of care,” she added.
Community Hospital will continue to add new technology, as well, she said. With the addition of the new patient wing in 2010, the hospital will add electronic bedside medication administration.
The Most Wired Survey is conducted annually by Hospitals & Health Networks magazine, the journal of the AHA, which uses the results to name the 100 Most Wired hospitals and health systems. It focuses on how the nation’s hospitals use information technologies for quality, customer service, public health and safety, business processes and workforce issues.
Hospitals & Health Networks conducted the 2009 survey in cooperation with McKesson Corp. and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives. The July H&HN cover story detailing results is available at www.hhnmag.com.
Hospitals are named to the Most Wired list based on a detailed scoring process. This year's survey was made possible through a partnership among Hospitals & Health Networks, the journal of the AHA, McKesson Corp., the AHA and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives. The survey asks hospitals to report on how they use information technology to address five key areas: safety and quality, customer service, business processes, workforce, and public health and safety. This year, 556 hospitals and health systems completed the survey, representing 1,314 hospitals. Along with the 100 Most Wired, H&HN uses the results to name the 25 Most Improved, the 25 Most Wireless and the 25 Most Wired—Small and Rural.