EMHS Hospitals Named Most Wired

    Technology is improving the efficiency of care delivery and creating a new dynamic in patient interactions, according to results of the 18th Annual Health Care’s Most Wired® survey, released earlier this week by the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Health Forum. Of the eleven hospitals and healthcare systems recognized in Maine, nine of them represented EMHS.

    This is the seventh consecutive year that EMHS member hospitals have been recognized as part of the Most Wired list that measures integration of technology for healthcare delivery.

    Awarded Healthcare’s Most Wired for 2016 include:

    • Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems in Brewer
    • Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor
    • Mercy Health System of Maine in Portland

    Awarded Healthcare’s Most Improved for 2016 include:

    • Acadia Hospital in Bangor
    • Blue Hill Memorial Hospital in Blue Hill
    • Charles A Dean Hospital in Greenville
    • Sebasticook Valley Health in Pittsfield
    • The Aroostook Medical Center in Presque Isle

    Awarded Healthcare’s Most Wired for Small and Rural Organizations for 2016:

    • Inland Hospital in Waterville

    According to the survey, 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.

    "I am very proud of the work our IS teams are doing to make this all happen," says Kyle Johnson, chief information officer for EMHS whose Information Systems, or IS, teams provide IT services for every facet of patient care delivery. "Information

    technology is an integral part of the care delivery system and directly affects the patient experience. The Most Wired award is a nice honor to reflect that we are on the right path."

    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."

    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.

    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.

    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.