FMH named among nation’s Most Wired hospitals
FARMINGTON - Franklin Memorial Hospital has again been named as one of 154 of the nation’s most wired hospitals according to the results of the 2012 Most Wired Survey Benchmarking Study released today in the July issue of Hospitals & Health Networks, the journal of the American Hospital Association (AHA).
According to the study, the nation’s Most Wired hospitals are leveraging the adoption and use of health information technology (IT) to improve performance in a number of areas. As a theme, hospitals are focused on expanding and adopting IT that protects patient data, and optimizes patient flow, and communications.
Health Care’s Most Wired Survey asked hospitals and health systems nationwide to answer questions regarding their IT initiatives. Respondents representing 1,570 hospitals were considered for the award.
Among the key findings this year:
- Ninety-three percent of Most Wired hospitals employ intrusion detection systems to protect patient privacy and security of patient data, in comparison to 77 percent of the total responders.
- Seventy-four percent of Most Wired hospitals and 57 percent of all surveyed hospitals use automated patient flow systems.
- Ninety percent of Most Wired hospitals and 73 percent of all surveyed use performance improvement scorecards to help reduce inefficiencies.
- One hundred percent of Most Wired hospitals check drug interactions and drug allergies when medications are ordered as a major step in reducing medication errors.
“As shown by these survey results, hospitals continue to demonstrate how IT not only can be used to improve patient care and safety but it is also a means to improve efficiency,” says Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the AHA. “Hospitals receiving Most Wired recognition are truly representative of our nation's hospitals and systems—rural and urban, small and large, teaching and non-teaching, and critical access hospitals geographically dispersed.”
Franklin Memorial Hospital has made information technology a priority in recent years. For example, in the last two years all Franklin Health medical practices and the hospital emergency department converted from paper medical records to electronic medical records that provide instant and complete patient information to consulting health care providers in medical offices, emergency rooms, hospitals, and other health facilities to improve patient care. This past year computerized physician order entry (CPOE) was initiated and nearly 75 percent of our physicians have been trained and are using this system that improves patient safety and care. CPOE is a process of electronic entry of provider instructions for the treatment of patients under his or her care. These orders are communicated over a computer network to other medical staff caring for the patient or to the departments (pharmacy, laboratory, or radiology) responsible for fulfilling the order. CPOE decreases delay in order completion, reduces errors related to handwriting or transcription, provides error-checking for duplicate or incorrect doses or tests, and prompts for additional treatment.
Rebecca Ryder, president of Franklin Community Health Network (FCHN) and Franklin Memorial Hospital, said being recognized for two consecutive years is another important milestone. “This is a very prestigious and much sought after award,” she said, adding that the achievement “is not just about the IT Department, but the entire staff who has embraced the new technologies.”
In making the announcement today to staff Ryder stated, “This award recognizes the adoption of technology in all aspects of the hospital’s operation: from physicians electronically entering instructions for the treatment of patients; to hospital nurses verifying medications with a bar code scanner for patient safety; to a professional practice council that brought IV smart pumps to the bedside to protect against medication errors; to materials management reducing costs through streamlined supply ordering; to patients who pay their bills and order prescription refills online; and finally to patients, visitors, and guests who can now access our complimentary WiFi network with their laptops, iPads, and smart phones. These are just a few of the examples of the technology that our staff and patients have embraced.”
“Equipping caregivers with the information needed to drive quality, safety, and efficiency will continue to be an imperative as the challenges facing health systems grow increasingly complex,” said Ralph Johnson, FCHN chief information officer. “The effective use of health IT, including actionable analytics and connectivity, can be a strategic lever as hospitals and health systems work to drive better outcomes while managing capacity, reducing costs, and coordinating care across multiple settings and caregivers.”
Franklin Memorial Hospital, Maine Medical Center, Eastern Maine Medical Center, and Acadia Hospital are the only hospitals in Maine to be recognized in the “Most Wired” category this year.