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LRH Named 2014 Most Wired

July 23, 2014

Most Wired Hospitals Connect Providers and Patients

Most Wired Small, Rural Hospital

Littleton, NH - Littleton Regional Healthcare has enhanced technology that allows clinicians and patients to have access to information they need to promote health and make the most informed decisions about treatments. As a result of these latest advancements, LRH has been named Most Wired Small, Rural Hospital for the second time.

"We are actually ahead of many hospitals in the U.S. in terms of technology. LRH is the only small rural hospital in New Hampshire named for two years in a row, and is one of 20 named Most Wired Small Rural Hospitals in the nationwide." West states, "The bottom line for LRH is that we are doing everything we can to enhance the patient experience through electronic connectivity using a patient portal on both the hospital and physician practice side of operations. We are embracing all forms of connectivity to patients with their physicians. We want to make sure LRH is the provider of choice in Northern New Hampshire. As the nation's health care system transitions to more integrated and patient-centered care, hospitals are utilizing information technology to better connect disparate care providers, according to the 16th annual Health Care's Most Wired Survey, conducted by Hospitals & Health Networks.

For instance, 67 percent of Most Wired hospitals share critical patient information electronically with specialists and other care providers. Most Wired hospitals, those that meet a set of rigorous criteria across four operational categories, have made tremendous gains by using IT to reduce the likelihood of medical errors. Among Most Wired hospitals, 81 percent of medications are matched to the patient, nurse and order via bar code technology at the bedside.

"The Most Wired data show that shared health information allows clinicians and patients to have the information they need to promote health and make the most informed decisions about treatments," says Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association. "Hospitals, their clinicians and their communities are doing tremendous work to enhance their IT systems in ways that support care and delivery improvement, and patient engagement goals."

Among some of the key findings related to improving quality and patient safety:

"Hospital leaders should be commended for the hard work they've done under an unrealistic time frame," 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 a 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."

To that end, nearly all participants in the Most Wired Survey and Benchmarking Study have an established health IT project governance process and evaluate existing workflow processes and desired outcomes.

The 2014 Most Wired Survey also covered the evolution of new models and payment from the IT perspective. As health care delivery moves to a value-based system, it will require more and better use of data analytics, care coordination and population health management.

"As we talk about collecting data, one of the critical competencies is making sure you have views of the clinical and financial sides," says Rose Higgins, senior vice president and general manager, population and risk management at McKesson Technology Solutions. "You need both to be successful. Seeing them together will provide a better picture of what's happening at the population health level and will be important as hospitals take on more risk."

"Healthcare professionals need to be free to communicate virtually across teams and to patients," says Tad Reynes, regional vice president, AT&T Business Solutions. "Providing tools to do so can potentially reduce costs, simplify workflows, improve patient care and offer a better experience to users."

Health Care's Most Wired Survey, conducted between January 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.

For details about the Most Wired hospitals, the July H&HN cover story detailing results is available at hhnmag.com.

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