August 8, 2014
Cheyenne, WY—Cheyenne Regional Medical Center has received a “Health Care’s Most Wired” award from Hospitals & Health Networks (H&HN) for having a state-of-the-art, secure information technology system that is also helping Cheyenne Regional provide quality, coordinated care to patients. The hospital was notified of the award in July.
Cheyenne Regional Medical Center is the only stand-alone hospital in Wyoming and one of only 375 hospitals or healthcare systems in the nation to receive the award this year. The recognition is given based on the results of a survey and benchmark study conducted by H&HN, in partnership with the American Hospital Association, College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, McKesson and AT&T.
“This recognition is the result of several years of hard work and of having a strategic plan in place that identified the kinds of IT improvements that needed to be made at Cheyenne Regional,” said Jody Siltzer, Cheyenne Regional’s director of information technology.
“Several years ago we realized that we needed to make improvements to our technology infrastructure,” Siltzer said. “This included adding an electronic medical record system that would help us provide seamless, integrated care for patients treated in our hospital and in clinics throughout our community. The result is that we now have an IT infrastructure and electronic medical record system that are among the best in our state and region.”
For Cheyenne Regional to be considered for the Most Wired designation, Siltzer had to complete a 17-page survey, including 86 questions focusing on technology being used at the hospital and its affiliated clinics.
“I want to thank our board of trustees and IT leaders for the vision, planning and work that have gone into making improvements to our technology infrastructure and electronic medical record system,” said Margo Karsten, Cheyenne Regional’s chief executive officer. “The physicians and our employees who use this system on a daily basis also deserve our thanks for adapting to the changes we’ve implemented over the past 18 months.”
According to an H&HN fact sheet, hospitals and healthcare systems that are given the Most Wired designation must meet all requirements specified in each of four focus areas: infrastructure, business and administrative management, clinical quality and safety as well as clinical integration.
“The survey asked us to evaluate not only the kinds of technology we have but how that technology is allowing us to collect and analyze data and other information that will ultimately help us improve our care and services to the community,” Siltzer said. “The survey also prioritizes security and evaluates how much the technology and the electronic medical record system are being used by our physicians, nurses and other employees.”
Siltzer noted that healthcare systems with the Most Wired designation “can’t just buy and install good technology. It has to be used day in and day out by the people who work in those hospitals and healthcare systems.”
Another key factor is how much the technology can be used to help improve and integrate the care of patients.
“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,” said Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association, in a news release. “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.”
The AHA news release also pointed out the following key survey findings that are related to improving quality and patient safety:
- Nurses and physicians share best practices for patient safety and use checklists at more than 90 percent of Most Wired organizations.
- To help consumers make better decisions about their healthcare, standard of 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.
- 71 percent of Most Wired hospitals manage care transitions compared with 57 percent of all responding organizations.
Cheyenne Regional has submitted a survey to the Most Wired committee for the past seven years.
“The survey shows your strengths and, more important, where you can make improvements. It’s a major achievement for our IT department and our entire healthcare system to have achieved this recognition,” Siltzer said.
This year’s Most Wired survey was conducted between Jan. 15 and March 15. Respondents completed 680 surveys, representing 1,900 hospitals, or more than 30 percent of all U.S. hospitals.
A story detailing the results of the survey is available in the July 2014 issue of H&HN at www.hhnmag.com