UW Hospital and Clinics Among 100 Most Wired for Third Straight Year

laptopMADISON - For the third straight year, UW Hospital and Clinics has been named to the Hospitals and Health Networks' (HHN) 100 Most Wired list.
The 2005 Most Wired Survey and Benchmarking Study marked the seventh year HHN has investigated how hospitals in the United States integrate information technology (IT) into their business and patient care plans.
The Most Wired distinction is awarded to the 100 hospitals that most effectively integrate IT into five key performance areas:
  • Safety and quality
  • Customer service
  • Business processes
  • Workforce
  • Public health and safety

For its analysis, HHN sent inquiries to every hospital in the U.S. More than 500 hospitals and health care systems representing 1,255 hospitals responded to questions about the ways they use information technology "to accomplish key goals, including safety and quality objectives."


The group then enlisted H&HN, IDX Systems Corp., Accenture and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives to help compile and analyze the results.


Intriguingly, when HHN hired Solucient to compare mortality rates of the 100 most wired hospitals to the rest of the responding hospitals, Solucient found that the 100 most wired had, on average, risk-adjusted mortality rates 7.2 percent lower than the other hospitals.


On its Web site, HHN is careful to note that the survey results do not prove a causal relationship between information technology and patient outcomes. In other words, investment in IT initiatives does not guarantee the best possible patient outcomes.


So what should the health care consumer take from the results of the 2005 Most Wired survey? While it's too much to say that sick people receive better care in hospitals that made the 100 Most Wired list, the health care industry is recognizing how properly used information technology strategies can help improve hospital performance by increasing efficiency and reducing errors.


Given their outcomes, it's safe to say that the most wired hospitals see information technology as important in providing patients with the best possible care.


HHN also highlighted the following three trends revealed by the 2005 survey:

  • The Most Wired use a wider array of IT tools to address quality and safety than other organizations, including:
    • Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE), an electronic process for entering physician orders including medication, laboratory, dietary, radiology and other orders that eliminate many of the problems associated with entering orders manually
    • Bedside electronic medication matching
    • Automated alerts and reminders
    • Physician portals
    • Electronic patient surveillance
  • Among the Most Wired, significantly larger percentages of physicians enter orders themselves, compared with other organizations
  • The Most Wired conduct a larger percentage of clinical transactions - the number of doses ordered and the number of medications matched to the patient - via information technology.

Date Published: 06/06/2007

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