Best Hospital IT 2016: Methodist Le Bonheur achieves excellence by innovating with patient data exchange

A family-centered culture at the Tennessee system led to development of a life-saving alert system based on Apple and Cerner tools.
07:14 AM
Best Hospital IT 2016: Methodist Le Bonheur

Best Hospital IT 2016: #1 Super Hospital
Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, Tennessee
IT Staff: 159
Overall Score: 64.36%

Methodist Le Bonheur executives have been focused on evolving the faith-based culture for the last several years and IT has been moving in lock-step.

As a result, the top-ranking Healthcare IT News Best Hospital IT Department Award winner in the Super category has a proud chest of cutting-edge initiatives underway including joint projects with Apple, another with Cerner, big data work with the University of Tennessee and the University of Memphis, precision medicine and population health programs — all of which are aimed at serving its unique patient population.

“Our focus is really on the patient and the family, as well as each other,” said Mark McMath, CIO of Methodist Le Bonheur. “That’s at the core of what we do. It brings purpose to our work.”

That starts with interoperability, according to Gayle Shepherd, director of physician and consumer innovation.

“We’re exchanging data, not just for meaningful use, but to improve patient health,” Shepherd said. “We’re making sure we connect with Methodist partners and also in the community, including providers who serve underinsured and self-pay patients.”

In the realm of just plain cool, Methodist Le Bonheur is among the small but growing number of hospitals working directly with Apple on a fistful of mobile apps to bolster patient care.

With some 90 percent of its doctors using iPhone, iPads or Apple Watches, the IT shop created an algorithm that sits on top of its Cerner electronic health record platform that sits on top of patient records in the EHR to continuously monitor changes and alert clinicians accordingly.  

McMath said that algorithm has already saved thousands of lives by shrinking the time it takes to notify a physician when a patient is diagnosed with severe sepsis from six hours to fewer than five minutes. It also alerts doctors when a patient is at risk of fall or readmissions and users can hover over the alert for clinical decision intelligence that explains steps they should take to avoid a readmission.

He explained that Cerner, in turn, has added that algorithm to its EHR for other hospitals to use.


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What’s next? Plenty.

Methodist Le Bonheur IT pros are developing a bed placement system, a transporter system using iPad minis to help expedite discharges, and the grand vision first-mover style collaboration with the University of Tennessee to build a clinical enterprise data warehouse combined with relevant technologies to engage patients in better managing their health. The hospital has already aligned IT and legal of both parties and put governance in place.

“All the pieces are coming together. The clinical data warehouse is a big part of precision medicine and translation medicine,” McMath said. “We’re also working on integrating additional medical devices and are developing a framework with Cerner Cerner for prescribed mobile devices, and BYO mobile devices. We’ll continue to integrate that information into the record and make it interoperable.”

The very manner of interoperability befitting a No. 1 Healthcare IT News Best Hospital IT Department Award winner indeed. 

 

Workplace culture was one of 87 questions senior executives (CIO, CMIOs, etc.), directors of IT, clinical and systems analysts, technicians, help desk staff and others responded to on our survey.

Overall Ranking


Question Very dissatisfied or Disagree completely Dissatisfied or Disagree Neutral Satisfied or Agree Very satisfied or Agree completely
Question Very dissatisfied or Disagree completely Dissatisfied or Disagree Neutral Satisfied or Agree Very satisfied or Agree completely
How satisfied you are working for the IT department at this organization? 5.2% 2.6% 4.5% 19.5% 68.2%
How satisfied are you with your job and elements of your day-to-day work? 2.1% 2.1% 4.1% 27.4% 64.4%
How satisfied are you with your immediate work unit, team or IT department group? 2.1% 2.1% 4.8% 20.7% 70.3%
How satisfied are you with your direct supervisor, manager or group head, the person you report to directly? 2.1% 1.4% 4.2% 18.2% 74.1%
How satisfied are you with the senior management and leadership of your organization? 3.5% 1.4% 4.3% 33.3% 57.4%
How satisfied are you with the workplace culture in this organization? 2.1% 2.1% 2.1% 25.5% 68.1%
How satisfied are you with training, professional development and advancement in this organization? 1.4% 7.1% 7.8% 34.8% 48.9%
How satisfied are you with compensation, benefits and employee recognition at this organization? 0.7% 6.4% 7.8% 37.6% 47.5%
I plan to continue my career with this organization. 0.7% 2.1% 6.4% 20.6% 70.2%
I would recommend employment here to a friend. 1.4% 2.1% 4.3% 21.3% 70.9%

 

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