Woman’s, Baton Rouge General Named Most Wired Hospitals

Five Louisiana hospitals, including Woman’s Hospital and Baton Rouge General, as well as Ochsner Health System, have been named “Most Wired” hospitals by Hospitals & Health Networks magazine.

The annual Most Wired survey examines the ways in which U.S. hospitals are adopting information technology, and the survey data is used to develop industry-standard IT benchmarks for operational, financial, and clinical performance. Nearly 40 percent of all U.S. hospitals participated in the survey, conducted between Jan. 15 and March 15, 2017. The 2017 Most Wired® survey and benchmarking study, published annually by Health & Hospitals Networks (H&HN),  is a leading industry barometer measuring information technology (IT) use and adoption among hospitals nationwide. The survey of 698 participants, representing an estimated 2,158 hospitals, examines how organizations are leveraging IT to improve performance for value-based health care in the areas of infrastructure, business and administrative management, quality and safety, and clinical integration. 

Baton Rouge General met criteria in four operational categories: infrastructure, business and administrative management, clinical quality and safety, and clinical integration.

“Technology is changing the way patients make decisions about their health,” said BRG VP of Information Systems Bennett Cheramie. “Our goal is to make getting care as seamless as possible with tools that fit the unique goals and experiences of our individual patients - including online physician visits, direct messaging, and secure text offerings.” 

Among the Most Wired hospitals, smart phones, telehealth, and remote monitoring are becoming increasingly common to create new ways for patients to access health care services and capture health information. In fact, 40 percent of the facilities surveyed now offer virtual physician visits.

At Woman’s, nurses are able to round on patients daily using an iPad app to ask about the quality of their stay, pain management, noise level, room cleanliness, meal service, and  safety concerns. In Woman’s Adult Intensive Care Unit, patient care is supported by the use of telehealth connected to remote intensivist physicians. These physicians can monitor vital signs, ventilators, and electronic medical records (EMR) in real-time through the telehealth platform, as well as communicate with the hospital staff and the patient. Coordinated virtual care allows for better outcomes for the patient, and also allows the patient’s family to be involved in the delivery of care.

“Information technology is at the forefront of the patient experience at Woman’s,” said Paul Kirk, Vice President/Chief Information Officer. “We’re using emerging technologies to improve patient engagement, experience, and safety.”

The hospital has continued developing the use of integrated software into EMRs as well the ability to data mine EMRs of non-hospital providers to create a total care plan for an obstetrical patient. With this information, the hospital is positioned to begin developing a risk-based arrangement and value-based care models with providers and payers. Woman’s is also working to improve clinical outcomes and processes through analyzing patient information.  

Detailed results of the survey and study can be found in the July issue of H&HN.  For a full list of winners, visit www.hhnmag.com/mostwired.