Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), one of the leading paediatric hospitals in the US, has been included in the list of 'Most Wired' hospitals in the country. Being named on the list, released annually by Health & Health Networks magazine, is recognition of a health care organisation's investment in technology that supports patient safety and best health care practice.
Out of 680 hospitals that took part in this year's survey only 375 hospitals made it to list. Health & Healthcare Networks magazine has been publishing the Most Wired Hospitals and Health Systems compilation for 16 years. The results are based on responses to its Most Wired Survey conducted annually to gauge the level of IT adoption in US hospitals.
Marty Miller, CHLA's chief information officer, emphasised such distinction could not have been achieved without the ideal combination of people, processes and technology. "It takes thought, dedication and persistence over many years to reach a point where you are considered a technology leader in health care."
Health care organisations with IT investments generally have more streamlined operations, ensuring better quality of services to patients. Technology empowers patients by allowing them to have direct access to their own medical records. Moreover, when doctors have instant access to information they need to make care decisions, subsequently patients can benefit with faster recoveries.
Thanks to CHLA's technology budget, the hospital now boasts a single, unified electronic medical record system covering all major hospital areas including emergency, inpatient, outpatient, surgical and intensive care units.
With the single medical record system, a whole team of clinicians from different departments can review a patient's chart without needing to wait for a physical chart to be given to them, which can take time and delay care decisions, explained Sajjad A. Yacoob, MD, chief medical information officer for CHLA.
CHLA's investments in IT have resulted in these other improvements:
- rollout of an electronic nurse scheduling system and care management programming (ie, milestones are visible for all clinicians involved in a patient's care)
- staff time and attendance is managed electronically
In addition, the hospital is currently launching a web portal for patients to get their medical records. The new site, called myKIDs, is designed to make parents become more active partners in their child's care, as they can send prescription renewals and other messages to their child's doctors online.
Most Wired hospitals and health systems will be honoured for their accomplishments at an award ceremony during the Health Forum and American Hospital Association Leadership Summit in San Diego, July 20-22.
The annual Most Wired Survey evaluates a hospital's health IT investments in four key areas covering infrastructure, business and administrative management, clinical quality and safety and clinical integration, according to Health & Healthcare Networks magazine.