BHS: Most Wired Hospital System
Berkshire Health Systems has been recognized as one of the nation’s Most Wired, according to the results of the 2011 Most Wired Survey, released in the July issue of Hospitals & Health Networks magazine. Berkshire Health Systems was one of only four health systems in Massachusetts ranked among the nation’s Most Wired for 2011.
The nation’s Most Wired hospitals are making progress towards greater health information technology (IT) adoption, according to Hospitals & Health Networks’ 2011 Most Wired Survey. As a field, hospitals are focused on expanding and adopting certain kinds of IT, such as computerized physician order entry (CPOE), to promote improved patient care and data collection.
“Berkshire Health Systems has had a strong focus on the Electronic Health Record (EHR) for the past decade in order to further improve patient care and was a regional leader in the implementation of integrated electronic systems, including CPOE, diagnostic imaging and a comprehensive medication management system,” said William Young, BHS Chief Information Officer. “We have moved beyond the hospital and are collaborating with community physician practices to expand the EHR system, which helps us to improve quality and patient safety.”
Most Wired hospitals have made great strides forward in this area with the survey results revealing strong advances in CPOE. Among the key findings this year:
- Sixty-seven percent of Most Wired hospitals ordered medications electronically in comparison to 46 percent of the total responders.
- Fifty-eight percent of all organizations reported that they have implemented computerized standing orders based on treatment protocols that have been scientifically proven to be effective; in the Most Wired group, 86 percent have implemented such standing orders.
- A greater reliance on digital records puts pressure on Chief Information Officers (CIOs) to ensure that data can be restored quickly in the event that systems go down. Eighty-two percent of the Most Wired hospitals and 57 percent of all surveyed hospitals can restore clinical data within 24 hours after a power loss.
- Most Wired hospitals are leading in the use of encryption on movable devices to safeguard information. All Most Wired hospitals encrypt data for laptops and 76 percent encrypt smart phones in comparison to 85 percent of total responders that use encryption on laptops and 57 percent on smart phones.
“Greater adoption of IT can bring important new tools to our efforts to improve the safety and quality of care in hospitals, and better coordinate care across settings,” says Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association. “To promote further use of information technology, we are aggressively working to remove regulatory barriers, and provide clarity in areas such as the meaningful use criteria.”
Hospitals & Health Networks’ 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 530 surveys, representing 1,388 hospitals, or roughly 24 percent of all US hospitals.
“Most hospitals look beyond short-term drivers of meaningful use and view technology as part of a powerful toolkit to support their long-term goals for clinical quality improvement and preparation for reform,” said Patrick Blake, executive vice president and group president, McKesson Technology Solutions, a sponsor of the survey. “Using all aspects of an electronic health record, including CPOE, is becoming the expected standard of care in many communities. As a result, we continue to see growth in those areas.”
Strides are also being made in the integration of the electronic health records with digital clinical imaging, according to survey results. Progress in the areas of digital dictation, structured reporting, and voice recognition with picture archiving and communication systems is also being made. Under these systems, clinicians receive faster diagnostic results that can improve aspects of patient care.
The July H&HN cover story detailing results is available at www.hhnmag.com.