Central Peninsula Hospital (CPH) has been recognized as one of the nation's most wired small and rural hospitals, according to the results of the 2011 Most Wired Survey released in the July issue of Hospitals & Health Networks magazine. CPH is the only hospital in the State of Alaska recognized for adopting computer information technology to improve patient care says David Albright, manager of one of the CPH technical services groups. "We participate every year by filling out a national survey demonstrating what technology we are using to help patient care and the people in our community. It demonstrates a level of expertise of the equipment we use to provide patient care, and this is the second year in a row we have received this distinction," said Albright.
The nation's Most Wired hospitals are making progress towards greater health information technology (IT) adoption, according to Hospitals & Health Networks' 2011 Most Wired Survey. As a field, hospitals are focused on expanding and adopting certain kinds of IT, such as computerized physician order entry (CPOE), to promote improved patient care and data collection. "This was not simply a repeat of last year's award, we are constantly adding new equipment, new modules, not only here but several health clinics in the area and working with them. As with all technology we must continue to be diligent in continuing to improve our infrastructure and ability to utilize the new applications," added Albright. Information Technology is one of the six key strategic initiatives of the CPH strategic plan. "The end result of our work is to create digital patient record continuum that provides a seamless process for the patient, shared Bryan Downs, Director of Information Services at CPH. "This increases patient safety and satisfaction and enhances the delivery of healthcare by reducing cost and time to the patient and providers. Effective use of information is increasingly recognized as an important factor in improving patient care. While many hospitals invest in technology, CPH's commitment to the process changes required in order to capitalize on that technology is the key factor in achieving the desired improvements," he said.
"As the banner outside the main entrance at CPH proclaims 'Congratulations Team!' this award is not just for the IT professionals here, the hospital is a team and takes a total commitment by nurses, physicians, clinicians, and all of working together toward the same goal of providing better healthcare for our community," added Albright. According to the survey results Most Wired hospitals have made great strides forward in revealing strong advances in CPOE. Among the key findings this year: Sixty-seven percent of Most Wired hospitals ordered medications electronically in comparison to 46 percent of the total responders. Fifty-eight percent of all organizations reported that they have implemented computerized standing orders based on treatment protocols that have been scientifically proven to be effective; in the Most Wired group, 86 percent have implemented such standing orders.
"Greater adoption of IT can bring important new tools to our efforts to improve the safety and quality of care in hospitals, and better coordinate care across settings," says Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the AHA. "To promote further use of information technology, we are aggressively working to remove regulatory barriers, and provide clarity in areas such as the meaningful use criteria. Most hospitals look beyond short-term drivers of meaningful use and view technology as part of a powerful toolkit to support their long-term goals for clinical quality improvement and preparation for reform," said Patrick Blake, executive vice president and group president, McKesson Technology Solutions, a sponsor of the survey. "Using all aspects of an electronic health record, including CPOE, is becoming the expected standard of care in many communities. As a result, we continue to see growth in those areas."
Strides are also being made in the integration of the electronic health records with digital clinical imaging, according to survey results. Progress in the areas of digital dictation, structured reporting, and voice recognition with picture archiving and communication systems is also being made. Under these systems, clinicians receive faster diagnostic results that can improve aspects of patient care. "Applying for the award annually not only allows us to see the results of the survey and where other hospitals are going nationally but helps our team stay on the cutting edge of patient care," concluded Albright.