UnityPoint Health Named Most Wired For 5th Year in a Row
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UnityPoint Health Named Most Wired For 5th Year in a Row

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American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Health Forum has named UnityPoint Health a “Most Wired” Health System for the fifth year in a row. Grundy County Memorial Hospital, a UnityPoint Health Community Network Hospital, has also received the honor. According to the results of the 18th Annual Health Care’s Most Wired® survey, technology is improving the efficiency of care delivery and creating a new dynamic in patient interactions.

What Does being “Most Wired” Mean?

Most Wired hospitals are using telehealth to fill gaps in care; provide services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; and expand access to medical specialists. This year’s results show:

  • The top three telehealth services offered in hospitals are consultations and office visits, stroke care, and psychiatric examinations and psychotherapy. 
  • Stroke care is the most rapid growth area for telehealth services up 38 percent from 2015, as evidence-based studies emphasize the time urgency of stroke care.
  • More than 25 percent of hospitals use internet-enabled monitoring devices for chronic disease management of congestive heart failure, diabetes and heart disease.

“The most useful tool in population health is having strong registries and reporting,” Wendy Mortimore, M.D. Chief Medical Information Officer for UnityPoint Health said. “This allows us to better identify care gaps and reach out to activate our patients to receive recommended care. Our patient portal, ‘My Chart,’ is a valuable tool that allows us to connect quickly and easily with many of our patients online - their preferred manner. UnityPoint Health is focused on these efforts, and others, in order to excel at the triple aim of providing patients with quality care and optimal experience at a lower cost.”

Using Technology to Improve Care

In redefining the way that they provide care in their communities, Most Wired hospitals are using technology to build patient engagement with the individual’s lifestyle in mind, which includes electronic access to their care team.

  • 68 percent accept patient-generated data through the patient portal.
  • 26 percent of Most Wired organizations offer E-visits through a mobile application.
  • 61 percent use social media to provide support groups.

“Hospitals are breaking-out of their traditional four walls and providing care where and when patients need it,” said Rick Pollack, president and CEO of the AHA. “These Most Wired hospitals exemplify this transformation by harnessing technology, engaging patients and offering services remotely. And, removing policy and other barriers to telehealth will allow even faster adoption of these amazing technologies.”

New IT Tools and Partnerships

Most Wired hospitals are utilizing population health management tools and partnering with other health care providers to share critical clinical information used in analyzing interventions aimed at key patient groups, such as those with diabetes. To get patients the right care, hospitals are using predictive modeling to eliminate preventable problems.

  • 53 percent interface electronic health record data with population health tools.
  • 62 percent stratify patients according to risk.
  • 51 percent aggregate data from patient encounters to create a community health record.

The versatility of mobile technologies makes it possible for clinicians and care team members to have the right tools for sound clinical decision-making wherever they are: 81 percent of Most Wired hospitals use mobile applications to notify clinicians of sudden changes in patient conditions and correlated events such as falls or respiratory distress or failure.

Keeping Your Information Safe

As they build out new capabilities, hospitals are also taking strong actions to ensure health data is secure.

  • More than 90 percent use intrusion detection systems, privacy audit systems and security incident event management to detect patient privacy breaches, monitor for malicious activities and produce real-time analysis of security alerts.
  • 84 percent conduct a third-party security audit annually to ensure that guidelines are followed.

About the Survey

HealthCare’s Most Wired® survey, conducted between Jan. 15 and March 15, 2016, is published annually by Health & Hospitals Networks (H&HN). The 2016 Most Wired® survey and benchmarking study is a leading industry barometer measuring information technology (IT) use and adoption among hospitals nationwide. The survey of 680 participants, representing an estimated 2,146 hospitals—more than 34 percent of all hospitals in the U.S.—examines how organizations are leveraging IT to improve performance for value-based health care in the areas of infrastructure, business and administrative management; quality and safety; and clinical integration.

Detailed results of the survey and study can be found in the July issue of H&HN. For a full list of winners, visit Hospitals & Health Networks.