Truman Medical Centers (TMC) has been named for the fourth consecutive year as one of Health Care’s “Most Wired” organizations of 2014 by Hospitals & Health Networks magazine, the journal of the American Hospital Association, recognizing TMC for its adoption of technologies to improve patient documentation, advance clinical decision support and evidence-based protocols, reduce the likelihood of medication errors, and rapidly restore access to data in the case of a disaster or outage. Also, for the first time TMC has achieved “Advanced Organization” status, the top two percent of all healthcare organizations surveyed in 2014.
“Technology is involved in every initiative we have,” says Mitzi Cardenas, senior vice president, strategy, business development and technology. “Our goal is to give clinicians and business leaders the ability to view information in a way that is significant to them and to deliver it at the point of care or the point of business operations.”
Each year, the magazine conducts an in-depth survey that looks at overall technology infrastructure at health systems throughout the country, including items such as security tools, to be sure that the day-to-day basic needs of their facilities are being met. The 2014 Most Wired Survey found that as the nation’s healthcare system transitions to more integrated and patient-centered care, hospitals are utilizing information technology to better connect disparate care providers. More than 67 percent of survey participants share critical patient information electronically with specialists and other care providers. Among Most Wired hospitals, 81 percent of all medications are matched to the patient, nurse and order via bar code technology at the bedside.
At TMC, the patient’s experience is of the utmost importance and the use of a personal health record is becoming increasingly important in building and maintaining relationships with patients and community based physicians. Digitized health systems have also helped to improve the safety and quality of the care provided at TMC. As part of a Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation grant, TMC has been targeting interventions for patients with chronic conditions. The focus is on high-cost zip codes, mainly in the city’s urban core. There are high-tech and high-touch aspects. Data in the EHR helps identify patient populations, individual histories and care needs. An alert system lets practitioners know when a patient shows up at a facility.
“Hospital leaders need to quit thinking like a hospital,” said TMC Lakewood Chief Operating Officer and the next TMC President and CEO Charlie Shields. “Patients have more choices and hospital leaders need to adapt and show the value of the services they provide by working to identify patient populations early in their disease state and develop interventions. That is where value is going to come for the patient – devoting the right resources to the right groups.”
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