PINEHURST — FirstHealth of the Carolinas has been recognized as one of the nation’s ‘Most Wired’ hospitals for the third consecutive year.
The “Most Wired” list is distributed annually by Hospitals & Health Networks magazine, the flagship publication of the American Hospital Association. The magazine evaluates hospitals on information technology in four areas: infrastructure, business/administrative management, clinical quality/safety, and clinical integration.
Being named to the list recognizes a health care organization's investment in technology that supports patient safety, quality care and best health care practice.
“We 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 focus at FirstHealth is always patient safety and quality of care. Our vision is to continue to move toward easier access to medical records for our patients. In return, this will help to make health care safer, more convenient and less stressful for patients.”
In July 2014, FirstHealth added the FirstHealth Patient Portal – electronic access to patient health information created to encourage communication between patients and their health care providers while ensuring that medical decisions are based on a patient's current and complete medical history.
“A patient portal helps patients keep up with their health care needs, medications, allergies, lab results and other health care information on a secure site,” says Cindy McNeill-McDonald, FirstHealth's vice president for Quality. “It allows them to keep their medical information in one place and up to date while willingly and correctly sharing their data with other providers. All of this together improves the quality of care for patients.”
According to Dillehunt, FirstHealth will continue to use technology to take quality and patient safety to the next level.
“Hospital leaders should be commended for the hard work they've done under an unrealistic timeframe,” states Russell P. Branzell, president and CEO of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, referring to federal requirements that health care providers adopt and meaningfully use certified electronic health records (EHR). “Still, there is a substantial amount of work ahead. Effective C-suites view IT adoption as a collaborative effort. They have a clear strategic plan and know how IT fits into that.”
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 680 surveys, representing 1,900 hospitals, or more than 30 percent of all U.S. hospitals.
The July H&HN cover story detailing results is available at www.hhnmag.com.