Fisher-Titus Medical Center in Norwalk has been recognized as one of the nation’s MOST WIRED, according to the results of the 2014 Most Wired Survey released recently in the July issue of Hospitals & Health Networks magazine. Fisher-Titus is one of only 15 Ohio hospitals selected for this designation.
“This is the third consecutive year we have achieved this designation and we are extremely proud of our Fisher-Titus team,” said Lorna Strayer, Fisher-Titus president and CEO, interim. “It takes commitment from our entire organization including physicians, employees and board of directors to accomplish this. We have an innovative and unique team that works together to be on the cutting edge of technology.”
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.
“Our focus at Fisher-Titus is the safety of our patients. Through the use of technology, we are able to have extra measures in place to enhance patient care and safety,” said John Britton, vice president of information services. “One way we have accomplished this is by automating electronic and paper-based processes across the patient’s continuum of care to create a comprehensive electronic patient health record. This produces a ‘single source of truth’ for each patient, where hospital caregivers can easily access the EHR, securely, in real time anywhere at any time promoting the utmost patient safety and the highest of clinical outcomes.”
The Fisher-Titus Information Services Department has achieved many milestones throughout the years as it progressed from a three-person data processing department in 1978 with a spotlight on supporting the financial aspects of the hospital to a 25-employee information services department today with a major focus in the clinical areas and patient care. With the support of the Fisher-Titus Information Services Department to help with integration 90 percent of active medical staff has some form of electronic medical record system in their office.
In 2010, Fisher-Titus, as an organization, made a strategic decision to integrate each clinical department onto one system to provide each patient with a comprehensive electronic health record.
At the conclusion of this 10-month project, Fisher-Titus in partnership with Cerner Corporation became the nation’s first all-digital “smart” community hospital after implementing a fully integrated electronic health record system and interactive technology in patient rooms.
The system advanced Fisher-Titus to among the most automated and safest hospitals in the nation and created the infrastructure to build a connected health network in the region. In 2011, Fisher-Titus achieved Stage 6 (the second highest level achievable) on Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics Electronic Medical Record (EMR) Adoption Model.
“Fisher-Titus, in partnership with our communities’ physicians, not only brought the whole health-care system in this community online, but to date we have one of the most integrated health-care information systems available,” said Britton.
Since going live with Cerner in 2010, Fisher-Titus has had many health-care systems around the globe that have traveled to Norwalk to see components of the system.
Fisher-Titus continues to be ahead of the curve by integrating devices such as the iPhones into patient care. An interactive patient portal where you can view your Fisher-Titus health records online also was introduced to the community in August 2013.
“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:
- Nurses and physicians share best practices for patient safety and use checklists at more than90 percent of Most Wired organizations.
- To help consumers make better decisions about their health care, standard measures of individual hospital quality performance are reported and publicly available. Nearly half of Most Wired organizations share this information on their websites and 86 percent provide quality scores to clinical leaders on a regular basis as part of their performance improvement initiatives.
"Hospital leaders should be commended for the hard work they've done under an unrealistic timeframe,” 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 healthcare delivery moves to a value-based system, it will require more and better use of data analytics, care coordination and population health management.
- 36 percent of Most Wired hospitals aggregate data from patient encounters to create a community health record.
- 71 percent of Most Wired hospitals manage care transitions compared with57 percent of all responding organizations.
- 43 percent of Most Wired organizations integrate clinical and claims data so that they are accessible, searchable, and reportable across the care community.
"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."
- 69 percent of Most Wired hospitals use tools for retrospective analysis of clinical and administrative data to identify areas for improving the quality of care and reducing the cost of care delivered.
“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.”
- 35 percent of Most Wired hospitals use social media to deliver care management messages and 40 percent provide mobile applications for secure messaging with patients.
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 than30 percent of all U.S. hospitals.
The July H&HN cover story detailing results is available at www.hhnmag.com.
Fisher-Titus Medical Center serves Norwalk, Huron County and the region with the latest medical advancements providing the area’s 70,000-plus residents a full continuum of care that includes Fisher-Titus Memorial Hospital, a 99-bed acute care hospital; Norwalk Memorial Home, a 69-bed skilled nursing facility; The Carriage House of Fisher-Titus, a 48-unit assisted living facility; and a Home Health Center.
As a non-profit community hospital, Fisher-Titus offers patients the most advanced technology and medical treatments possible while providing the highest level of personal care. With a dedicated and talented staff of employees and an outstanding team of physicians, Fisher-Titus has earned numerous national recognitions including Leapfrog’s “A” Hospital Safety Score. The Medical Center is accredited by Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP) and also is recognized as a Fully Accredited Chest Pain Center, a Primary Stroke Center and a Level 3 Trauma Center. Fisher-Titus Medical Center also was named among Healthcare’s “Most Wired” in 2012 and 2013.
About the AHA
The AHA is a nonprofit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which includes nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, and other providers of care. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA website at www.aha.org.
About the Most Wired Survey
The 2014Most Wired Survey is conducted in cooperation with McKesson Corp., AT&T, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, and the American Hospital Association.
About the Sponsors
McKesson Corp., currently ranked 15th on the Fortune500, is a healthcare services and information technology company dedicated to making the business of healthcare run better. The company partners with payers, hospitals, physician offices, pharmacies, pharmaceutical companies and others across the spectrum of care to build healthier organizations that deliver better care to patients in every setting. McKesson helps its customers to improve their financial, operational and clinical performance with solutions that include pharmaceutical and medical-surgical supply management, healthcare information technology, and business and clinical services. For more information, visit www.mckesson.com.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company and one of the most honored companies in the world. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and internationally. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation’s most reliable 4G LTE network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. A leader in mobile Internet, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide of any U.S. carrier, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV service with the AT&T U-verse® brand. The company’s suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world.
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The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is an executive organization dedicated to serving chief information officers and other senior healthcare IT leaders. With more than 1,400 CIO members and more than 85 healthcare IT vendors and professional services firms, CHIME provides a highly interactive, trusted environment enabling senior professional and industry leaders to collaborate; exchange best practices; address professional development needs; and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and healthcare in the communities they serve. For more information, visit www.cio-chime.org.