The 15th annual Health Care's Most Wired Survey spotlights the hospitals and healthcare systems that have come furthest so far in implementing health IT and putting it to work transforming care.
The survey – conducted by American Hospital Association, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, AT&T and McKesson, and published in Hospitals & Health Networks – shows big strides in adoption of technology to improve patient documentation, advance clinical decision support and evidence-based care, reduce medication errors, safeguard data and more.
"This year's Most Wired organizations exemplify progress through innovation," says Rich Umbdenstock, president and chief executive officer of the American Hospital Association, in a press statement. "The hospital field can learn from these outstanding organizations ways that IT can help to improve efficiency."
Conducted between Jan. 15 and March 15, the annual survey polled 1,713 hospitals (roughly one-third of those in the U.S.) about their IT initiatives. Among its findings:
- More than two thirds (69 percent) of "Most Wired" hospitals and 60 percent of all surveyed hospitals report that medication orders are entered electronically by physicians.
- Nearly three-quarters (71 percent) of "Most Wired" hospitals have an electronic disease registry to identify and manage gaps in care across a population, compared with 51 percent of total responders.
- Some 66 percent of "Most Wired" hospitals share patient discharge data with affiliated hospitals, in comparison to 49 percent of the total responders. Meanwhile, 37 percent of "Most Wired" hospitals do so with non-affiliated hospitals versus 24 percent of total responders.
"The concept of health information exchange is absolutely correct. We need to do it and do it in a robust, refined way," said Russell P. Branzell, president and chief executive officer of CHIME, in a statement. "The answer here is standards, standards, standards. We need to standardize the entire process, which we've done in almost every other business sector."
[See also: 'Most Wired' hospitals named for 2012]
- Nearly one-third (32 percent) of "Most Wired" hospitals conduct controlled experiments or scenario-planning to make better management decisions.
- More than 40 percent of "Most Wired" hospitals provide a patient portal or Web-based tool for patient-generated data.
"Meaningful use has been a top priority for CIOs and hospital executives, but understanding all of the data will be critical as new relationships continue to evolve," said Rose Higgins, vice president, strategic solutions of McKesson subsidiary RelayHealth in a statement. "Data analytics will be essential to helping hospitals balance quality of care and cost requirements in a new environment of risk-based reimbursement and evidence-based medicine."