Charleston's MUSC medical center and the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center were recognized among the nation's "most wired" hospitals and health systems, according to Health Care's Most Wired 2012. The survey was released in the July issue of Hospitals & Health Networks, a publication of the American Hospital Association.
In 2011, MUSC won a similar honor as the "most connected" hospital in South Carolina and among 118 hospitals in the country ranked in U.S. News & World Report.
The Most Wired survey is part of an annual effort conducted by the magazine in cooperation with the McKesson Corporation, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives and the American Hospital Association.
The survey was conducted between January and March via a questionnaire about their institution's IT initiatives. A total of 1,570 hospitals were polled with 662 surveys completed.
This award coincides with the medical center's switch of clinical software to a more user-friendly health information technology system such as the new Epic ambulatory electronic medical records (EMR) system which was introduced mid-May throughout the clinical enterprise to improve overall patient care and measure outcomes. On May 17, the hospital launched the Epic system to replace the current system and allow MUSC users to gather, share and manage patient and billing information and streamline communications with clinical staff.
Patrick J. Cawley, M.D., chief medical officer and executive medical director, MUSC medical center, praised the many improvements made to health information technology and support systems throughout the hospital. "Over the last several years, we have been aggressively rolling out new technology in order to enhance the care we provide. This has been hard work and this recognition is proof of the dedication of our hospital and medical staff."
Of the most wired hospitals and health care systems, many cite the benefits of health information technology to improve and manage patient data, improve patient outcomes and optimize communications.
Frank C. Clark, Ph.D., director, Office of the Chief Information officer, was quick to recognize the clinical staff and their patience, commitment and skills in working with changing technology and systems.
"This recognition is less about wired and wireless networks/technology and more about how MUSC Health caregivers use advanced-point-of-care clinical systems to provide care that is safe, efficient, and of the highest quality. We can be proud of our caregivers as they use technology to change what is possible at MUSC Health."
Other findings from the study on most wired hospitals:
- 93 percent employ intrusion detection systems to protect patient privacy and security of patient data, in comparison to 77 percent of the total respondents;
- 74 percent of most wired hospitals and 57 percent of all surveyed hospitals use automated patient flow systems;
- 90 percent of most wired hospitals and 73 percent of all surveyed use performance improvement scorecards to help reduce inefficiencies;
- 100 percent check drug interactions and drug allergies when medications are ordered as a major step in reducing medication errors.
Most Wired Hospitals in S.C.
AnMed Health (Anderson); Beaufort Memorial Hospital; Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center; Palmetto Health (Columbia); MUSC medical center and the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center