PINEHURST – FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospitalhas been recognized as one of the nation’s ‘Most Wired’ hospitals, according to the results of the 2010 Most Wired Survey released in the July issue of Hospitals & Health Networks magazine.
The only other hospital in North Carolina to make the cut was Carolinas Healthcare System in Charlotte.
The survey of nearly 1,300 hospitals looked at everything from bar code use on medications and electronic health records to billing systems and wireless networks.
“FirstHealth has deployed several technologies over the past several years that are making significant differences for patients, physicians and staff,” says Dave Dillehunt, FirstHealth’s chief information officer. “For example, electronic nursing notes and medication administration have been implemented throughout the health system, and all of the FirstHealth Family Care Centers are using electronic medical records. The Most Wired survey is not just about the technology that is used, it’s more about the positive change that the technology has enabled. For us, it all comes down to our increased ability to care for people.”
“In order to take quality and patient safety to the next level, and as part of our continuous improvement efforts, FirstHealth has committed to Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE),” adds Dillehunt. “CPOE will pull together all the computerized systems in the hospital and redesign workflow processes to enhance patient safety and quality.”
Hospitals understand the importance of health information technology (IT) and the benefits of its widespread adoption yet, as a field, still face significant barriers to implementation, according to a newly released survey of America's Most Wired hospitals and health systems.
This year’s survey reveals continued progress for hospitals in patient safety initiatives:
- Fifty-one percent of medication orders were done electronically by physicians at Most Wired hospitals, up from 49 percent last year.
- More than half (55 percent) of Most Wired hospitals match medication orders at the bedside through bar coding or radio-frequency identification, up from 49 percent in 2009 and from 23 percent five years ago.
- Additionally, Most Wired hospitals have made improvements when it comes to sharing information during care transitions. For example, new medication lists are electronically delivered to caregivers and patients 94 percent of the time when a patient is transferred within the hospital, 98 percent at discharge and 86 percent when transferred to another care setting.
“The survey results highlight that continued progress is being made but the full potential of health IT has not been met,” says Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association (AHA).
“Hospitals embrace health IT and recognize the many benefits it can provide to patients, but even Most Wired hospitals face barriers to adoption. We have asked that the federal government stimulate greater adoption by making Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments more widely available to hospitals and physicians so more hospitals can move in this direction.”
Survey results speak to the fact that the full potential of health IT has not been met and that the use of electronic medical record (EHR) functions is still not widespread, even with independent physicians who practice within hospitals.
For Most Wired hospitals, only 43 percent of independent physician practices have the ability to electronically document medical records, 41 percent have computerized physician order entry (CPOE) and 44 percent have decision support.
The Most Wired Survey was redesigned this year to reflect two years of work with an advisory group to continually improve it. The 2010 Most Wired Survey represents a new structure and methodology with an increased use of analytics and reporting. The advisory group was comprised of leaders from the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), chief information officers, Most Wired staff and vendors. Additionally, the new methodology was made available to the entire CHIME membership for review and comment.
Hospitals & Health Networks conducted the 2010 survey in cooperation with McKesson Corporation and CHIME. The July H&HN cover story detailing results is available at www.hhnmag.com.