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FirstHealth of the Carolinas Named one of the Nation’s Most Wired Health Systems

| Date Posted: 7/12/2013

PINEHURST – FirstHealth of the Carolinas has been recognized as one of the nation’s Most Wired health care systems, according to the results of the 2013 Most Wired Survey released in the July issue of Hospitals & Health Networks magazine.

FirstHealth (consisting of Moore Regional Hospital in Pinehurst, Montgomery Memorial Hospital in Troy and Richmond Memorial Hospital in Rockingham) was one of six hospital systems in North Carolina deemed Most Wired.

“We are proud of the work done here at FirstHealth, and are honored to once again be recognized for our commitment to improved processes and outcomes through the use of technology,” says Dave Dillehunt, FirstHealth’s chief information officer. “Our sustained strategic investments in information technology continue to enhance our ability to fulfill our mission of providing the best patient experience, including ongoing enhancements in care quality, safety and state-of-the-art facilities.”

This year marks the 15th anniversary of Health Care’s Most Wired Survey.  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.

“This year’s Most Wired organizations exemplify progress through innovation” says Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association. “The hospital field can learn from these outstanding organizations ways that information technology can help to improve efficiency.”

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.”
  • Seventy-one percent of Most Wired hospitals 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 versus24 percent of total responders.

 “The concept of health information exchange is absolutely correct,” says Russell P. Branzell, president and CEO of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives. “We need to do it and do it in a robust, refined way. The answer here is standards, standards, standards. We need to standardize the entire process, which we’ve done in almost every other business sector.”

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.         

Health Care’s Most Wired Survey, conducted between Jan. 15 and March 15, asked hospitals and health systems nationwide to answer questions regarding their initiatives in information technology. Respondents completed 659 surveys, representing 1,713 hospitals, or roughly 30 percent of all U.S. hospitals.

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. The July H&HN cover story detailing results is available at

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