CHICAGO, Ill. " Womack Army Medical Center has been recognized as one of the nation’s most wired hospitals, according to the results of the 2011 Most Wired Survey released in the July issue of Hospitals and Health Networks magazine.

The nation’s Most Wired hospitals are making progress towards greater health information technology adoption. As a field, hospitals are focused on expanding and adopting certain kinds of information technology, such as computerized physician order entry, to promote improved patient care and data collection.

“There is no doubt that the technology investments the hospital has made over the past two to three years are making a difference. We could never become one of the Most Wired hospitals unless we had spent time and effort in investing in new technology to support our patients as well as our healthcare team,” said Lt. Col. David Broyhill, WAMC chief information officer.

“Technology is an enabler, it enables an organization to solve a problem or satisfy a need. There are many technologies available, but the key essence is how to use the technologies to design a solution which is strategic, robust, scalable and business driven. The reality is that bringing new technology into any large organization is a challenge. Womack will continue to take the lead and move forward with the ultimate goal being an integrated system where hospitals around the globe will be networked together to save lives,” he said.

Most Wired hospitals have made great strides forward in this area with the survey results revealing strong advances in CPOE. Some of the key findings this year include:
Sixty-seven percent of Most Wired hospitals ordered medications electronically in comparison to 46 percent of the total responders.

Fifty-eight percent of all organizations reported that they have implemented computerized standing orders based on treatment protocols that have been scientifically proven to be effective. In the Most Wired group, 86 percent have implemented such standing orders.

A greater reliance on digital records puts pressure on chief information officers to ensure that data can be restored quickly in the event that systems go down.

Eighty-two percent of the Most Wired hospitals and 57 percent of all surveyed hospitals can restore clinical data within 24 hours after a power loss.

Most Wired hospitals are leading in the use of encryption on movable devices to safeguard information. All Most Wired hospitals encrypt data for laptops and 76 percent encrypt smart phones in comparison to 85 percent of total responders that use encryption on laptops and 57 percent on smart phones.

“Greater adoption of IT can bring important new tools to our efforts to improve the safety and quality of care in hospitals, and better coordinate care across settings,” said Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association. “To promote further use of information technology, we are aggressively working to remove regulatory barriers, and provide clarity in areas such as the meaningful use criteria,” he said.

Hospitals and Health Networks’ 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 530 surveys, representing 1,388 hospitals, or about 24 percent of all U.S. hospitals.

“Most hospitals look beyond short-term drivers of meaningful use and view technology as part of a powerful toolkit to support their long-term goals for clinical quality improvement and preparation for reform,” said Patrick Blake, executive vice president and group president, McKesson Technology Solutions, a sponsor of the survey. “Using all aspects of an electronic health record, including CPOE, is becoming the expected standard of care in many communities. As a result, we continue to see growth in those areas,” Blake added.

Strides are also being made in the integration of the electronic health records with digital clinical imaging, according to survey results. Progress in the areas of digital dictation, structured reporting, and voice recognition with picture archiving and communication systems is also being made. Under these systems, clinicians receive faster diagnostic results that can improve aspects of patient care.

The July Hospitals and Health Network cover story detailing results is available at www.hhnmag.com.

About the AHA
The American Hospital Association is the national organization that represents and serves all types of hospitals, health care networks and their patients and communities. Close to 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, other providers of care and 42,000 individual members come together to form the AHA. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends.
For more information, visit the AHA website at www.aha.org.

About the Most Wired Survey
The 2011 Most Wired Survey is conducted in cooperation with McKesson Corporation, HIT Exchange, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, and the American Hospital Association.

Page last updated Fri August 5th, 2011 at 11:18