By Leslie Turk
July 26, 2012
Lafayette General Medical Center is the only hospital in the state to be recognized as one of the nation’s 200 “Most Wired,” according to results of the 2012 Most Wired Survey in the July issue of Hospitals & Health Networks magazine. Opelousas General Health System, which has a clinical affiliation with LGMC for its cardiology and neuroscience services, was one of 25 small and rural hospitals recognized as most wired. LGMC and OGHS were the only two Louisiana hospitals to garner recognition.
In announcing the winners, the editors wrote:
The road to meaningful use of health information technology is riddled with detours, potholes and yield signs. Yet the 2012 H&HN Most Wired Survey proves that hospitals with well-crafted and well-mapped plans can motor their way toward successful adoption.
A record number of hospitals — more than 200 — earned Most Wired status in this, the 14th annual survey, which gauges how organizations are planning for, utilizing and securing information technology across the entire enterprise. While there is a certain amount of cachet that comes with being associated with Most Wired, as with many other lists throughout health care, the survey is less about the designation and more about serving as a roadmap for how hospitals are using IT to transform their organizations. Perhaps the most significant development over the past couple of years is the greater strategic role IT and IT departments now play in hospitals and health systems.
Given the dramatic changes taking place in health care, and the ever-increasing importance of data, IT systems must be more than just plug-and-play toys; they need to be high-powered analytical tools that can deliver real-time, actionable data to clinicians and executives alike.
According to a press release from LGMC, this year it became the first hospital in Acadiana to offer a jobsite telemedicine clinic, achieve Stage 6 status in electronic record keeping and was among a handful of hospitals from around the world to broadcast a live surgical procedure to the largest peripheral vascular conference in the U.S.
In November 2011, LGMC and Opelousas General were the first in the state to pilot the Louisiana Health Information Exchange. LaHIE is the mechanism that allows for the secure exchange of health information among authorized providers.
Hospitals & Health Networks magazine singled out a few key findings of this year’s survey, with LGMC meeting all of the criteria. Among the key findings were:
• Ninety-three percent of Most Wired hospitals employ intrusion detection systems to protect patient privacy and security of patient data, in comparison to 77 percent of the total responders.
• Seventy-four percent of Most Wired hospitals and 57 percent of all surveyed hospitals use automated patient flow systems.
• Ninety percent of Most Wired hospitals and 73 percent of all surveyed use performance improvement scorecards to help reduce inefficiencies.
• One hundred percent of Most Wired hospitals check drug interactions and drug allergies when medications are ordered as a major step in reducing medication errors
This year 662 hospitals and health systems, representing a total of 1,570 hospitals, completed the survey. That’s roughly 27 percent of all U.S. hospitals. — Leslie Turk