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July 11, 2017

461 hospitals, health systems named as 'Most Wired'

Daily Briefing

Hospitals & Health Networks (H&HN) on Monday released its 2017 "Health Care's Most Wired" list, recognizing more than 450 hospitals and health systems for success in health IT adoption.

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H&HN produced the 19th edition of the report based on the findings of the 2017 Most Wired Survey. H&HN conducted the survey in partnership with the American Hospital Association and the health care security firm Clearwater Compliance.

The survey evaluated how hospitals and health systems use health IT in four focus areas:

  1. Infrastructure, such as identity management, data recovery, regular risk analysis, and wireless network accessibility;
  2. Business and administrative management, such as expanded use of electronic payer transactions, electronic delivery of quality scores to clinical leaders, and automation of revenue cycle processes;
  3. Clinical quality and safety, such as routine use of EHR technology by clinicians for patient care, electronic medication reconciliation, and clinical decision support systems ; and
  4. Clinical integration, such as patient portal functionality and interoperability of applications within the hospital.

Overall, 698 participants completed the survey, representing 2,158 hospitals—or about 39 percent of hospitals in the country. Respondents completed the survey between Jan. 15 and March 15. Responses cover projects implemented by March 1.

The 'Most Wired' hospitals

Based on the survey results, H&HN named 461 hospitals and health systems "Most Wired." These organizations, according to H&HN, have demonstrated "core development" in all four focus areas.

AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack in a statement said, "The Most Wired hospitals are using every available technology option to create more ways to reach their patients in order to provide access to care. They are transforming care delivery, investing in new delivery models in order to improve quality, provide access, and control costs."

According to H&HN, the "bright spots" in this year's findings are that hospitals and health systems are:

  • Increasingly leveraging data and analytics to foster a culture of self-improvement;
  • Boosting patients' ability to access their records securely;
  • Connecting patients to care through innovative channels, such as secure messaging, telehealth, and mobile applications; and
  • Taking cybersecurity more seriously with frequent audits and trainings.

Chantal Worzala, VP for health IT and policy operations at AHA, said, "I think we see a shift here from, 'How do I get this tech?' to 'How do I deploy this for our strategic objectives.'"

According to AHA, the Most Wired hospitals and health systems have made particular strides in facilitating patient access and capturing health data. For instance: 

  • 82 percent assess retrospective clinical and administrative data to spot areas for quality and cost improvement;
  • 76 percent offer secure messaging with clinicians via mobile devices;
  • 74 percent use secure emails for communication between the care team and patients and families when a patient needs home monitoring;
  • Nearly 70 percent interface EHR data with population health tools;
  • 68 percent allow patients to request prescription renewals via mobile devices;
  • 62 percent include patient reported data to the EHR;
  • About half use telehealth for behavioral health services;
  • More than 40 percent provide real-time care management services to patients for chronic conditions; and
  • 40 percent provide virtual physician visits.

In addition, AHA highlighted the Most Wired honorees' increased focus on security. According to the survey:
  • 97 percent of Most Wired honorees use systems to monitor for potential intrusions;
  • 96 percent conduct data access audits;
  • Nearly 90 percent conduct phishing exercises to educate staff on identifying suspicious emails;
  • 82 percent undergo third-party security audit each year;
  • 70 percent said they have backup, cloud-based services for clinical data; and
  • 58 percent said they could restore clinical information systems—such as the EHR, lab, and radiology services—without four hours of a data loss disaster.

According to H&HN, the "bottom line" of this year's survey is that many hospitals and health systems have the technology to drive efficiency and improve care, but there is still room for further integrating systems and processes and conducting population health management.

For instance, areas for improvement include:

  • Integration of EHR systems with population health;
  • Generating clinical quality measures from EHRs; and
  • Incorporating data from external entities, such as retail pharmacies.

'Advanced' hospitals and health systems

H&HN also recognized 27 hospitals and health systems as "Advanced," meaning they exceeded 'core' development in all the survey's four focus areas and met criteria for "advanced," including ongoing communications with patients supported by health IT tools and use of tools that support data-driven care and population health management. Those hospitals and health systems are:

  1. Altru Health System (Grand Forks, North Dakota);
  2. Atlantic General Hospital (Berlin, Maryland);
  3. Avera Health (Sioux Falls, South Dakota);
  4. Baptist Health South Florida (Coral Gables);
  5. Beaumont Health (Southfield, Mich.);
  6. Carolinas HealthCare System (Charlotte, North Carolina);
  7. Cedars-Sinai (Los Angeles);
  8. Children's Health System of Texas (Dallas);
  9. Geisinger Health System (Danville, Pennsylvania);
  10. Hackensack Meridian Health (Edison, New Jersey);
  11. Henry Ford Health System (Detroit);
  12. Lehigh Valley Health Network (Allentown, Pennsylvania);
  13. Memorial Healthcare System (Hollywood, Florida);
  14. Mercy (Chesterfield, Missouri);
  15. Mercy Health (Cincinnati);
  16. Meritus Health Center (Hagerstown, Maryland);
  17. Navicent Health (Macon, Georgia);
  18. Ochsner Health System (New Orleans);
  19. ProHealth Care (Waukesha, Wisconsin);
  20. Riverside Health System (Newport News, Virginia);
  21. Saint Peter's University Hospital (New Brunswick, New Jersey);
  22. UNC Health Care (Chapel Hill, North Carolina);
  23. UnityPoint Health (West Des Moines, Iowa);
  24. University of Colorado Health (Aurora);
  25. University of Utah Health Care (Salt Lake City);
  26. WVU Medicine Berkeley and Jefferson medical centers (Martinsburg, West Virginia); and
  27. WVU Medicine West Virginia University Hospitals (Morgantown).

All of the Advanced organizations are Advisory Board members ("Most Wired 2017," July 2017; Hospitals & Health Networks, "Most Wired," accessed 7/11; Vesley, Hospitals & Health Networks, 7/10; "Most Wired fact sheet," accessed 7/11; Spitzer, Becker's Health IT & CIO Review, 7/10; AHA release, accessed 7/11).

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