Agnesian HealthCare listed among 2017 Most Wired Hospitals

Shelly Haberman
Nancy Birschbach

Technology is making it easier for patients and providers to interact helping to improve communication, safety and patient-provider relationships. New tools are helping patients become more actively involved in their care and maintaining their health, according to results of the 19th Annual Health Care’s Most Wired® survey, recently released by the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Health Forum.

Agnesian HealthCare has taken bold steps to ensure that providers, patients and other have access to important healthcare information. And, those steps have been recognized by being named as one of the top 2017 Most Wired Hospitals.

“This award is a testament to Agnesian HealthCare’s commitment to aggressively invest in and leverage technology to improve the health of the communities we serve,” says Nancy Birschbach, Agnesian HealthCare vice president and chief information officer. “This is considered the gold standard in healthcare technology signifying advanced deployment and adaption of health-related technology, including state of the art devices, systems, analytics, infrastructure and security. I am very proud of our Information Technology team’s ability to achieve and sustain this level of information technology excellence.”

According to the survey, Most Wired hospitals are using smart phones, telehealth and remote monitoring to create more ways for patients to access healthcare services and capture health information. This year’s results show:

  • 76 percent offer secure messaging with clinicians on mobile devices.
  • When patients need ongoing monitoring at home, 74 percent use secure e-mails for patients and families to keep in touch with the care team.
  • 68 percent simplify prescription renewals by letting patients make requests on mobile devices.
  • 62 percent add data reported by patients to the electronic health record to get a better picture of what is going on with the patient.
  • Nearly half of the hospitals are using telehealth to provide behavioral health services to more patients.
  • 40 percent offer virtual provider visits.
  • More than 40 percent provide real-time care management services to patients at home for diabetes and congestive heart failure.

“The Most Wired hospitals are using every available technology option to create more ways to reach their patients to provide access to care,” according to Rick Pollack, AHA president and chief executive officer. “They are transforming care delivery, investing in new delivery models to improve quality, provide access and control costs.”

Innovation in patient care embraces emerging technologies and underscores the need for secure patient information exchange. Hospitals have increased their use of sophisticated IT monitoring systems to detect patient privacy breaches, monitor for malicious activities or policy violations and produce real-time analysis of security alerts.

  • 97 percent use intrusion detection systems.
  • 96 percent perform data access audits.
  • Nearly 90 percent run targeted phishing exercises to teach associates to question suspicious e-mails.

Most Wired hospitals are transforming care delivery with knowledge gained from data and analytics. They are investing in analytics to support new delivery models and effective decision-making and training clinicians on how to use analytics to improve quality, provide access and control costs.

  • 82 percent analyze retrospective clinical and administrative data to identify areas for improving quality and reducing the cost of care.
  • Three-quarters use sophisticated analytics, such as predictive modeling and data, to improve decision-making.
  • Nearly 70 percent interface electronic health record data with population health tools for care management.
  • More than 70 percent are providing data analytic tools training to physicians and nurses.
  • 45 percent initiate a patient pathway using health IT to follow a care plan.
  • Nearly 40 percent deliver quality metrics to physicians at the point-of-care.
  • 32 percent have tools for real-time patient identification and tracking for value-based care conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

HealthCare’s Most Wired® survey, conducted between January 15 and March 15, 2017, is published annually by Hospitals & Health Networks (H&HN). The 2017 Most Wired® survey and benchmarking study is a leading industry barometer measuring information technology (IT) use and adoption among hospitals nationwide. 

The survey of 698 participants, representing an estimated 2,158 hospitals - more than 39 percent of all hospitals in the U.S. - examines how organizations are leveraging IT to improve performance for value-based healthcare in the areas of infrastructure, business and administrative management; quality and safety; and clinical integration. 

Detailed results of the survey and study can be found in the July issue of H&HN. For a full list of winners, visit www.hhnmag.com

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