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Danbury Hospital and Norwalk Hospital Once Again Named 2014 Most Wired Hospitals Connect Providers and Patients

Monday, July 14, 2014 - Danbury, CT

Western Connecticut Health Network and Norwalk Hospital

As the nation's health care system transitions to more integrated and patient-centered care, hospitals are utilizing information technology to better connect disparate care providers, according to the 16th annual Health Care's Most Wired Survey, conducted by Hospitals & Health Networks. Both Danbury Hospital and Norwalk Hospital , of the Western Connecticut Health Network, were once again designated as "Most Wired" by this prestigious publication.

For instance, 67 percent of Most Wired hospitals share critical patient information electronically with specialists and other care providers. Most Wired hospitals, those that meet a set of rigorous criteria across four operational categories, have made tremendous gains by using IT to reduce the likelihood of medical errors. Among Most Wired hospitals, 81 percent of medications are matched to the patient, nurse and order via bar code technology at the bedside.

Chief Information Officer, Kathy DeMatteo shared, "The investment in technology in today’s healthcare environment is critically important to improving patient care, reducing costs leading to better health outcomes. 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,
  • and, 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," says 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 percent of Most Wired organizations.
  • To help consumers make better decisions about their health care, 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 percent 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," states Russell P. Branzell, president and CEO of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, referring to federal requirements that health care 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."

To that end, nearly all participants in the Most Wired Survey and Benchmarking Study have an established health IT project governance process and evaluate existing workflow processes and desired outcomes.

The 2014 Most Wired Survey also covered the evolution of new models and payment from the IT perspective. As health care delivery moves to a value-based system, it will require more and better use of data analytics, care coordination and population health management.

  • 36 percent of Most Wired hospitals aggregate data from patient encounters to create a community health record.
  • 71 percent of Most Wired hospitals manage care transitions compared with 57 percent of all responding organizations.
  • 43 percent of Most Wired organizations integrate clinical and claims data so that they are accessible, searchable, and reportable across the care community

As we talk about collecting data, one of the critical competencies is making sure you have views of the clinical and financial sides," says Rose Higgins, senior vice president and general manager, population and risk management, at McKesson Technology Solutions. "You need both to be successful. Seeing them together will provide a better picture of what's happening at the population health level and will be important as hospitals take on more risk."

  • 69 percent of Most Wired hospitals use tools for retrospective analysis of clinical and administrative data to identify areas for improving the quality of care and reducing the cost of care delivered.

"Healthcare professionals need to be free to communicate virtually across teams and to patients," says Tad Reynes, regional vice president, AT&T Business Solutions. "Providing tools to do so can potentially reduce costs, simplify workflows, improve patient care and offer a better experience to users."

  • 35 percent of Most Wired hospitals use social media to deliver care management messages and 40 percent provide mobile applications for secure messaging with patients

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 680 surveys, representing 1,900 hospitals, or more than 30 percent of all U.S. hospitals.

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

About the Most Wired Survey

The 2014 Most Wired Survey is conducted in cooperation with McKesson Corp., AT&T, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, and the American Hospital Association.

About Western Connecticut Health Network

Western Connecticut Health Network is the region's premier, patient-centered health care organization serving residents of Western Connecticut and adjacent New York. With this recent affiliation, the organization is now anchored by three nationally recognized hospitals, Danbury Hospital, New Milford Hospital and Norwalk Hospital, as well as their affiliated organizations. In addition to the three hospitals, the continuum of care offered includes numerous medical practices and sub-specialties across the region, home health care services, a nationally renowned biomedical research institute, the Western Connecticut Health Network Foundation, the Norwalk Hospital Foundation and other affiliates. For more information, visit TheNewWCHN.org. Share your comments with us at Facebook.com/DanburyHospital; Facebook.com/NewMilfordHospital and/or Facebook.com/NorwalkHospital.




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