TUPELO, Miss.-This year marks the 15th anniversary of Health Care’s Most Wired Survey, and the 13th time that North Mississippi Health Services has been included on the prestigious Most Wired list.
In that time, hospitals and health care systems have made great strides in establishing the basic building blocks for creating robust clinical information systems aimed at improving patient care. This includes adopting technologies to improve patient documentation, advance clinical decision support and evidence-based protocols, reduce the likelihood of medication errors, and rapidly restore access to data in the case of a disaster or outage.
“Information technology is playing an increasingly important role in the delivery of health care, and it is being driven by federal regulations,” said Tommy Bozeman, NMHS chief information officer.
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009, more commonly referred to as HITECH, mandates that hospitals and physicians not just adopt health information technology, but use it in a meaningful way.
“Most Wired hospitals and health care systems are better positioned going into the future to meet these increasingly stringent requirements,” Bozeman said. NMHS hospitals include the flagship 650-bed hospital in Tupelo, as well as community hospitals in Eupora, Iuka, Pontotoc and West Point, Miss., and Hamilton, Ala.
The 2013 Most Wired Survey is conducted in cooperation with McKesson Corp., AT&T, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives and the American Hospital Association.
Among some of the key findings this year:
• Sixty-nine percent of Most Wired hospitals and 60 percent of all surveyed hospitals report that medication orders are entered electronically by physicians. This represents a significant increase from 2004 results when only 27 percent of Most Wired hospitals and 12 percent of all hospitals responded, “Yes.”
NMHS reports an even higher percentage of electronic orders. “In the most recent month, 74 percent of all orders-not just medication orders-were entered electronically by physicians,” Bozeman said.
• Seventy-one percent of Most Wired hospitals, including NMHS, have an electronic disease registry to identify and manage gaps in care across a population compared with 51 percent of total responders.
• Sixty-six percent of Most Wired hospitals share patient discharge data with affiliated hospitals, in comparison to 49 percent of the total responders. Thirty-seven percent of Most Wired hospitals do so with non-affiliated hospitals versus 24 percent of total responders. “NMHS has a single data base for all of our hospitals and clinics which allows data to be easily shared,” Bozeman explains.
The 2013 Most Wired Survey also covered some new areas such as big data analytics and patient generated data. An emerging practice, big data analytics looks at large amounts of data to uncover patterns and correlations.
• 32 percent of Most Wired hospitals, including NMHS, conduct controlled experiments or scenario-planning to make better management decisions.
• 41 percent of Most Wired hospitals provide a patient portal or Web-based solution for patient-generated data. “We are in the process of rolling out a patient portal to clinics and hospitals throughout NMHS,” Bozeman said.
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 659 surveys, representing 1,713 hospitals, or roughly 30 percent of all U.S. hospitals. The July H&HN cover story detailing results is available at www.hhnmag.com.
Source: North Mississippi Health Services