Alamance Regional Medical Center has been named one of the top users of information technology in the nation according to the results of the 2012 Most Wired Survey. Alamance Regional is the only hospital in the Triad and Triangle region of North Carolina to receive the Most Wired 2012 award. Seven North Carolina hospitals and 154 hospitals nationwide achieved the Most Wired honor by meeting criteria in 24 areas that measure the use of information technology throughout the organization. The survey, released this week in the July issue of Hospitals and Health Networks, is conducted by the American Hospital Association (AHA). Healthcare company, McKesson, and The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), also sponsor the survey.
As a field, hospitals are focused on expanding and adopting IT that protects patient data, and optimizes patient flow and communications. Alamance Regional uses information technology to drive performance in a number of key areas, including improved patient care and safety and efficiency. Uses of technology at Alamance Regional include:
· Security technology safeguards to protect patient privacy and patient data
· Electronic health records and clinical information systems that are used by nurses, pharmacists and physicians
· Computerized physician order entry, which eliminates handwritten physician orders
· Automated drug allergy and interaction alerts
· A barcode patient identification and lab specimen system
· A picture archive communication system (PACS) that offers physicians fast and secure computer access to digital CT and MRI scans, X-rays and other images
“The mission of our team is to ensure that information technology is enhancing the care of our patients and meeting the needs of nurses and doctors,” says Jesse Long, Chief Information Officer, Alamance Regional Medical Center.
Alamance Regional first began building a clinical information system in 1998.
“Our board of directors had a vision of and a commitment to technology long before many other hospitals began using clinical information systems,” notes Rex Street, Chief Financial Officer, Alamance Regional. “As an early adopter of this technology, we have been able to realize high levels of safety and efficiency that ultimately benefit patients.”
In addition to the Most Wired designation, the survey also looks at hospitals that are most improved, and small and rural hospitals. Key findings from this year’s survey include:
· Ninety-three percent of Most Wired hospitals employ intrusion detection systems to protect patient privacy and security of patient data, in comparison to seventy-seven percent of the total responders.
· Seventy-four percent of Most Wired hospitals and fifty-seven percent of all surveyed hospitals use automated patient flow systems.
· Ninety percent of Most Wired hospitals and seventy three percent of all surveyed use performance improvement scorecards to help reduce inefficiencies.
· One hundred percent of Most Wired hospitals check drug interactions and drug allergies when medications are ordered as a major step in reducing medication errors
“As shown by these survey results, hospitals continue to demonstrate how IT not only can be used to improve patient care and safety but it is also a means to improve efficiency,” says Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the AHA. “Hospitals receiving Most Wired recognition are truly representative of our nation's hospitals and systems – rural and urban, small and large, teaching and non-teaching, and critical access hospitals geographically dispersed.”
Health Care’s Most Wired Survey, conducted between Jan. 15 and March 15, asked hospitals and health systems nationwide to answer questions regarding their IT initiatives. Respondents completed 662 surveys, representing 1,570 hospitals.