Driving Better Clinical Decision-Making
Being connected in 2009 is a 24/7/365 proposition. While good connections in business relations can bring profits—effective IT-enabled connections across a multi-site healthcare organization allow significant reductions and efficiencies in operating and staff costs and better care for patients via expanded regional reach for many facilities. Faster clinical decision-making comes from quickly communicated results, more complete imaging history facilitates better decision-making, and improved physician satisfaction via tailored, comprehensive reports delivered swiftly in the means the physician prefers to review them ensures that referrals continue.
The Top 25 Connected Healthcare Facilities are intelligent and knowledge-enabled healthcare enterprises. They share efficiencies across departments and locations that can reduce patient wait times, overall length of stay, the need for repeat exams and thus alleviate added radiation dose to the patient. They can handle increases in patient volume with little or no increase in personnel, while refined patient and staff schedules push scanner utilization. Greater workflow efficiencies and tightly monitored billing and collections schemas set the stage for faster reimbursement payments and improvements in customer satisfaction scores among inpatients, outpatients and staff.
This year’s Top 25 Connected Healthcare Facilities include health systems, academic medical centers, a cancer care center, two community hospitals and an imaging center, spread across 15 states (although nominations were not limited to U.S.-based facilities). The winners are presented in alphabetical order; their listing in no way indicates a ranking.
Nineteen of the Top Connected facilities have deployed EMRs that are Stage 5 (per HIMSS Analytics) or above. Four are Stage 7. Most of the facilities utilize clinical decision support, CPOE and structured reporting in a variety of clinical areas. Progressive users provide a link in the EMR to clinical images. The clinical departments most often connected via IT systems include cardiology, radiology, ICU, emergency, lab, orthopedics and surgery.
So where are the gaps? EP, dermatology, pathology, radiation therapy and oncology. In imaging and diagnostic systems, there’s a break in the chain often in the cath lab and EP lab, and in EKG and SPECT/CT imaging. But each year we see progress, so we’re getting there slowly and clearly.
Connections are making the difference in healthcare today, as well as differentiating top performers from the rest.
The Fine Print
Online nominations were accepted from May 22nd through June 22nd. The ballot included 18 multiple response questions. Nominations required the input of senior-level IT executives such as CIOs, chief medical or clinical information officers, chief technology officers, medical informatics officers, VPs of information systems and directors of IT. Among the factors differentiating the winners are stage of EMR deployment, the number of physicians with remote access to clinical images and patient data and the number of methods for physician access, the number and breadth of clinical IT systems deployed, the number of departments that share patient data and images with the EMR and PACS, the number of imaging technologies that share images and information with PACS and the economic and clinical impact of greater physician connectivity with images and patient data.
2009 Top 25 Connected Healthcare Facilities (alphabetical order)
Omaha, Neb. | alegent.com
Supported by Catholic Health Initiatives and Immanuel Health Systems, Alegent Health completes approximately 320,000 imaging procedures annually, with an average radiology report turn-around time of 12 hours. More than 96 percent of the 1,300 physicians within the 1,774-bed health system have remote access to clinical images and patient data. The not-for-profit system has reduced intraoperative image turn-around to less than two minutes, reduced days in accounts receivable by 4.5 days and saved approximately $2 million in accounts discharged not final billed.
Little Rock, Ark. | baptist-health.com
With more than 120 facilities, including eight hospitals and six outpatient imaging centers that perform 315,000 studies per year, Baptist Health has been delivering quality healthcare for more than 80 years. Many of the hospitals are more than 150 miles apart, so the implementation of a PACS combined with