Albany Medical Center Named 2014 Most Wired
Albany, N.Y., July 9, 2014 – Albany Medical Center has been named one of the Most Wired Hospitals in the nation, according to the 16th annual Health Care’s Most Wired Survey, conducted by Hospitals & Health Networks.
Albany Med is one of only 22 hospitals in New York State to receive this designation, which is awarded based on a survey of hospitals’ uses of technology in infrastructure, business and administrative management, clinical quality and patient safety, and clinical integration. It is also one of only 375 hospitals in the nation to receive the designation.
“Albany Med is maximizing the opportunities to use technology in ways that help us provide the most advanced patient care in the region,” said George Hickman, executive vice president and chief information officer at Albany Med. “Our goal is to assure that our clinicians have the computing systems and biomedical technologies they need to deliver the most capable care possible.”
The survey noted that Most Wired hospitals have made tremendous gains by using information technology (IT) to reduce the likelihood of medical errors. Among Most Wired hospitals, 81 percent of medications are matched to the patient, nurse and order via bar code technology at the bedside to assure that the drug, dose, right administration route, time, frequency and patient match. Albany Med put that technology in place several years ago.
The publication noted that, as the nation’s health care system transitions to more integrated and patient-centered care, hospitals are utilizing IT to better connect disparate care providers, and that 67 percent of Most Wired hospitals share critical patient information electronically with specialists and other care providers. Albany Med provides secured access to electronic health records to its credentialed physicians across the region, supports the activity of the Health Information Exchange of New York (Hixny) and, along with MedAllies, has been a national leader in developing an interoperability standard known as “Direct” that allows for secure Internet-based routing of health records by and between physicians electronic health record.
“Our journey to build the best and most capable electronic health record has spanned several years,” said Louis Filhour, senior vice president for clinical quality at Albany Med. “We continue to bring more features and function to the bedside month on month to improve clinical workflows, patient safety and care, clinician decision support, and communication during transitions in care delivery across multiple settings and providers.”
“Technology is critical to care delivery, research and teaching,” said Ferdinand J. Venditti. Jr., M.D., vice dean for clinical affairs and president of the Albany Med Faculty Physicians Group. “The adoption of technology is paramount to Albany Med’s continuing transformation as the region’s only academic health sciences center.”
Dr. Venditti noted that Albany Med Faculty physicians now have access to two million electronic patient records providing clinical information necessary to support clinical decision making and care. Venditti expects that Albany Med will show advances in the area of analytics that will position its clinician researchers to predict care regimes using high-end computing tools.
“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. “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.”
Health Care’s Most Wired Survey, conducted between Jan. 15 and March 15, asked hospitals and health systems nationwide to answer questions regarding their IT initiatives. Respondents completed 680 surveys, representing 1,900 hospitals, or more than 30 percent of all U.S. hospitals.
“Hospital leaders should be commended for the hard work they've done under an unrealistic time frame,” said Russell P. Branzell, president and CEO of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, referring to federal ARRA HITECH requirements that health care providers adopt and meaningfully use a certified electronic health record (EHR). “Still, there is a substantial amount of work ahead. Effective C-suites view IT adoption as a collaborative effort. They have a clear strategic plan and know how IT fits into that.”
To that end, nearly all participants in the Most Wired Survey and Benchmarking Study have an established health IT project governance process and evaluate existing workflow processes and desired outcomes. Albany Med, like other survey participants, has honed its governance approach so that clinicians are highly involved in the design and deployment of its technologies.
The 2014 Most Wired Survey also covered the evolution of new models and payment from the IT perspective. As health care delivery moves to a value-based system, it will require more and better use of data analytics, care coordination and population health management.
The July H&HN cover story detailing results is available at www.hhnmag.com.
About the AHA
The AHA is a nonprofit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which includes nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, and other providers of care. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA website at www.aha.org.
About the Most Wired Survey
The 2014 Most Wired Survey is conducted in cooperation with McKesson Corp., AT&T, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, and the American Hospital Association.
About the Sponsors
McKesson Corp., currently ranked 15th on the Fortune 500, is a health care services and information technology company dedicated to making the business of health care run better. The company partners with payers, hospitals, physician offices, pharmacies, pharmaceutical companies and others across the spectrum of care to build healthier organizations that deliver better care to patients in every setting. McKesson helps its customers to improve their financial, operational and clinical performance with solutions that include pharmaceutical and medical-surgical supply management, health care information technology, and business and clinical services. For more information, visit www.mckesson.com.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company and one of the most honored companies in the world. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and internationally. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation’s most reliable 4G LTE network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. A leader in mobile Internet, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide of any U.S. carrier, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV service with the AT&T U-verse® brand. The company’s suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world.
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The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is an executive organization dedicated to serving chief information officers and other senior health care IT leaders. With more than 1,400 CIO members and more than 85 health care IT vendors and professional services firms, CHIME provides a highly interactive, trusted environment enabling senior professional and industry leaders to collaborate; exchange best practices; address professional development needs; and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and health care in the communities they serve. For more information, visit http://www.cio-chime.org.
Albany Medical Center, northeastern New York’s only academic health sciences center, is one of the largest private employers in the Capital Region. It incorporates the 734-bed Albany Medical Center Hospital, which offers the widest range of medical and surgical services in the region, and the Albany Medical College, which trains the next generation of doctors, scientists and other healthcare professionals, and also includes a biomedical research enterprise and the region’s largest physicians practice with more than 400 doctors. Albany Medical Center works with dozens of community partners to improve the region’s health and quality of life. For more information: www.amc.edu or www.facebook.com/albanymedicalcenter.
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