Danbury Hospital and Norwalk Hospital Once Again Named Among “Most Wired™” Hospitals and Health Systems

Danbury Hospital
Kathy DeMatteo, Chief Information Officer, Western Connecticut Health Network

Hospitals & Health Networks has named two hospitals within the Western Connecticut Health Network - Danbury Hospital and Norwalk Hospital - to its 2015 list of the nation's "Most Wired" Hospitals and Health Systems. The recognition is based on the 17th annual HealthCare's "Most Wired" survey that was released this month by the American Hospital Association's Health Forum and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME).

The 2015 Most Wired survey and benchmarking study, in partnership with CHIME and sponsored by VMware, is a leading industry barometer measuring information technology (IT) use and adoption among hospitals nationwide. The survey of more than 741 participants, representing more than 2,213 hospitals, examined how organizations are leveraging IT to improve performance for value-based healthcare in the areas of infrastructure, business and administrative management, quality and safety, and clinical integration.

Chief Information Officer, Kathy DeMatteo shared, "We congratulate our IT staff for their constant efforts and dedication to the ever-evolving use of advanced information technology to improve value-based health care. This has become more important than ever as we make the change from fee-for-service health care to population health management possible."

The survey found that hospitals are taking more aggressive privacy and security measures to protect and safeguard patient data and top growth areas included privacy, audit systems, provisioning system, data loss prevention, single sign-on and identity management.

Among the key findings:

  • 96 percent of Most Wired organizations use intrusion detection systems compared to 85 percent of the all respondents. Privacy audit systems (94 percent) and security incident event management (93 percent) are also widely used.
  • 79 percent of Most Wired organizations conduct incident response exercises or tabletop tests annually, a high-level estimate of the current potential for success of a cybersecurity incident response plan, compared to 37 percent of all responding hospitals.
  • 83 percent of Most Wired organizations report that hospital board oversight of risk management and reduction includes cybersecurity risk.

"With the rising number of patient data breaches and cybersecurity attacks threatening the healthcare industry, protecting patient health information is a top priority for hospital customers," said Frank Nydam, Senior Director of Healthcare at VMware. "Coupled with the incredible technology innovation taking place today, healthcare organizations need to have security as a foundational component of their mobility, cloud and networking strategy and incorporated into the very fabric of the organization."

As hospitals and health systems begin to transition away from volume-based care to more integrated, value-based care delivery, hospitals are utilizing IT to better facilitate information exchange across the care settings. This includes greater alignment between hospitals and physicians. According to the survey, the physician portal is a key factor in strengthening physician-hospital alignment:

  • In 84 percent of Most Wired organizations, physicians can view and exchange other facilities' results in the portal compared with 63 percent of hospitals surveyed.
  • 76 percent use the portal and electronic health record (EHR) to exchange results with other EHRs and health information exchanges compared to 56 percent of those surveyed.
  • 81 percent can communicate with patients via email or alerts in contrast to 63 percent of all respondents.
Driven beyond the requirements of Meaningful Use Stage 2, this year's Most Wired hospitals are utilizing the benefits of a patient portal to get patients actively involved in their health and healthcare. For instance, 89 percent of Most Wired organizations offer access to the patient portal through a mobile application. Other key findings include:
  • 67 percent of Most Wired hospitals offer the ability to incorporate patient-generated data.
  • 63 percent offer self-management tools for chronic conditions.
  • 60 percent offer patient-specific education in multiple languages.

"We commend and congratulate this year's Most Wired hospitals and their CIOs for improving care delivery and outcomes in our nation's hospitals through their creative and revolutionary uses of technology," said CHIME CEO and President Russell P. Branzell, FCHIME CHCIO. "These Most Wired organizations represent excellence in IT leadership on the frontlines of healthcare transformation."

"Congratulations to our nation's Most Wired hospitals for harnessing the potential of information technology to improve quality care and patient safety and lower health care costs," said Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the AHA. "At the forefront of the field, these hospitals are setting the bar for protection of patient data through discerning security measures."

HealthCare's Most Wired Survey, conducted between Jan. 15 and March 15, 2015, and is published annually by Health & Hospitals Network. Last October, the AHA/Health Forum and CHIME announced the formation of a Most Wired partnership to enhance collaboration between the two organizations in the development and sustainability of the survey, and to collectively help meet the growing demand for useful data on health IT integration.

The July Hospitals & Health Networks cover story detailing results is available at HHNMag.com.

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.