'Most Connected' hospitals of 2012 announced

By Erin McCann
10:14 AM

U.S. News & World Report on Tuesday published its 2012 list of the Most Connected Hospitals. The list includes 156 U.S. hospitals nationwide, ranked according to their advancement in electronic medical record (EMR) adoption.

Over the past few years, the EMR has become part of the daily routine of medical professionals throughout the country. The promise of the EMR is often widely lauded among those in the healthcare profession. Some experts say the technology could prove to make the delivery of healthcare safer and more efficient in addition to providing healthcare providers and patients with better access to health data.

The federal government, through its incentive payments to physicians and hospitals that demonstrate meaningful use of EMRs, has played a central role in spurring the technology's adoption. A burgeoning number of hospitals have embraced EMRs beyond the government benchmarks. 

[See also: 'Most Wired' hospitals named for 2012.]

According to experts, an even smaller subset of those hospitals also succeed in delivering the superior care that U.S. News recognizes in its Best Hospitals. For the second consecutive year, the magazine has published a list of the Most Connected Hospitals to highlight institutions that are both digitally forward and clinically excellent.

The 156 institutions on this year's Most Connected Hospitals list have met three challenging standards that put them in the vanguard of centers leading medicine into the era of electronic medical records.

Each is distinguished by having captured a national ranking in the 2012-13 U.S. News Best Hospitals and/or Best Children's Hospitals rankings or by having earned the designation of "high-performing" in one or more medical specialties. And each hospital, or one or more of its major units – such as a children's hospital within the larger institution – is a leader in moving to electronic medical records.

[See also: EMR as opportunity.]

“There are two different pieces that a hospital had to satisfy for the hospital to be on the list,” Ben Harder, general manager of the Health Rankings. “One is clinical excellence. We looked at how a hospital performed across 16 different specialties,” including cardiology, ear nose and throat and geriatrics.

“Secondly, we were looking for leaders in EMR adoption and health IT adoption," he added. "A hospital had to have achieved meaningful use according to the federal standards." This had to be satisfied by July 10, 2012. Current U.S. Department of Health and Human Services requirements for achieving meaningful use of electronic medical records include using them for e-prescribing, for electronic exchange of medical records, for supplying medical data to patients and for providing data that can be used to monitor clinical quality.

Hospitals also had to meet strict criteria for EMR use set by HIMSS Analytics, a division of the nonprofit Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society that analyzes use of health information technology. HIMSS Analytics scores hospitals' adoption of electronic medical records on a scale from Stage 0 (no use of EMRs) to Stage 7 (full use, where the medical organization no longer uses paper records and has incorporated health IT into virtually every part of clinical care). Only hospitals at Stage 6 or Stage 7 as of July were eligible to appear on the Most Connected Hospitals list.

[See also: U.S. News & World Report taps HIMSS Analytics for hospital measures.]

Some of the hospitals that earned Stage 7 distinction include: Mayo Clinic, Boston Children’s Hospital, Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, UC San Diego Medical Center, Stanford Hospital & Clinics, Ohio State University Hospital and the University of Wisconsin Hospital & Clinics. 

The list of U.S. News and World Report's 156 Most Connected hospitals can be found on the next page. 

Stage 7 Hospitals

Mayo Clinic

University of Wisconsin Hospital & Clinics

Stanford Hospital & Clinics

Ohio State University Hospital

Children's Hospital Boston

Children's Medical Center Dallas

Nemours-Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children

Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC

UC San Diego Medical Center

Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center

NorthShore Evanston Hospital

Sentara Norfolk General Hospital

Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center

James Cancer Center and Solove Research Institute

Kaiser Permanente Woodland Hills Medical Center

Banner Thunderbird Medical Center

Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center

North Colorado Medical Center

Banner Desert Medical Center

Banner Estrella Medical Center

Kaiser Permanente Anaheim Medical Center

Kaiser Permanente Vallejo Medical Center

Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital

Kaiser Permanente Sunnyside Medical Center

Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center

Banner Gateway Medical Center

Kaiser Permanente Riverside Medical Center

Kaiser Permanente San Jose Medical Center

Kaiser Permanente Walnut Creek Medical Center

Sentara Leigh Hospital


Stage 6 Hospitals

Vanderbilt University Medical Center

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics

Mount Sinai Medical Center

Yale-New Haven Hospital

University of Minnesota Medical Center

UPMC-University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Rush University Medical Center

Brigham and Women's Hospital

Northwestern Memorial Hospital

Nationwide Children's Hospital

Tampa General Hospital

Children's Hospital of Michigan

Oregon Health and Science University

Abbott Northwestern Hospital

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

Medical University of South Carolina

Carolinas Medical Center

Montefiore Medical Center

University of California, Davis Medical Center

Emory University Hospital

Advocate Christ Medical Center

Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center

Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC

Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center

South Shore Hospital

Baystate Medical Center

Harper University Hospital

Fletcher Allen Health Care

Carle Foundation Hospital

United Hospital of St. Paul

University of Virginia Medical Center

Miami Valley Hospital

University of Missouri Health Care

Roswell Park Cancer Institute

Albert Einstein Medical Center

TIRR Memorial Hermann

Emory University Hospital Midtown

West Virginia University Hospitals

Memorial University Medical Center

Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center

Advocate Lutheran General Hospital

Jersey Shore University Medical Center

Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital

Durham Regional Hospital

Fairview Southdale Hospital

Mercy Hospital, MN

Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center and Children's Hospital, WA

Sinai-Grace Hospital

Bon Secours St. Mary's Hospital

DMC Detroit Receiving Hospital

Howard County General Hospital

Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center

Swedish Covenant Hospital

Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital

Lankenau Hospital

Miriam Hospital

Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital

Carolinas Medical Center-Mercy

Mission Hospital, CA

Providence Portland Medical Center

Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital

Adventist Hinsdale Hospital

Ball Memorial Hospital, IN

Fairview Ridges Hospital, MN

Indiana University Health North Hospital

Maine Medical Center

Memorial Hermann Northwest Hospital

Memorial Regional Medical Center

Paoli Hospital

Unity Hospital, MN

University Hospital, TX

Valley Hospital, NJ

St. Agnes Hospital, MD

St. Mary's Health Care, MI

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital

UPMC Passavant

Indiana Health Arnett Hospital

Bryn Mawr Hospital

Clarian West Medical Center

Good Samaritan Hospital and Health Center

Hennepin County Medical Center

Northern Westchester Hospital

Orange Regional Medical Center

OSF St. Francis Medical Center

Rhode Island Hospital

Riverside Regional Medical Center

UPMC St. Margaret

Desert Valley Hospital

Doctors Hospital at Renaissance

Eastern Maine Medical Center

Frederick Memorial Hospital

Hays Medical Center

Mercy Medical Center-Sioux City

Naples Community Hospital

Potomac Hospital

Riverview Medical Center

St. Dominic-Jackson Memorial Hospital

St. Jude Medical Center, CA

St. Mary's Hospital, WI

Tacoma General Hospital

Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital

UPMC Mercy, PA

White Plains Hospital Center

Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital

Advocate Condell Medical Center

Anne Arundel Medical Center

Centinela Hospital Medical Center

Clear Lake Regional Medical Center

Florida Hospital Heartland

Good Samaritan Medical Center, MA

Heartland Regional Medical Center

Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital

Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center

MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital

Newport Hospital

Norwalk Hospital

Ocean Medical Center

OSF St. Joseph Medical Center

Our Lady of Lake Regional Medical Center

Peninsula Regional Medical Center

PinnacleHealth Hospitals

Providence Alaska Medical Center

Salem Hospital

Phelps Memorial Hospital Center

SSM St. Joseph Hospital West