For the second consecutive year, UC Davis Health System has been designated as one of the nation's information technology leaders, according to the 2012 "Most Wired Survey and Benchmarking Study" that appears in the July issue of Hospitals & Health Networks magazine.
The Sacramento-based academic health system is one of only 11 institutions in California designated "Most Wired" in this year's assessment. A total of 1,570 hospitals completed surveys as part of the 2012 Most Wired assessment.
The annual study examines how hospitals use information technology to address and enhance patient safety, quality of care, public health, administrative processes and workforce decisions.
"UC Davis Health System has long placed a high priority on supporting clinicians and patients with advanced clinical software technology and infrastructure," said Michael Minear, chief information officer for the health system. "The fully digital environment in use at UC Davis is a critical foundation for delivering high quality and efficient clinical care, supporting patient needs, and complying with industry regulations. Being recognized as one of the nation's 'Most Wired' institutions is an honor because it is another independent confirmation of the success UC Davis has had in leveraging modern health information technologies to deliver the best care possible."
UC Davis launched its electronic health record (EHR) system in 2002. Today, all clinical content, including clinical notes, diagnostic digital images (such as x-rays, ultrasounds and CT scans), ancillary test results and medication information is online and available to clinicians via secure online access. Physicians, nurses and other designated health-care staff can quickly enter medication orders and patient-care notes, as well as use health IT to carry out appropriate clinical tasks.
More than 60,000 UC Davis patients access their clinical data via a secure tethered personal health record (PHR) and can exchange secure online messages with their physician and care teams. UC Davis has set up secure interfaces to share EHR content with community clinicians, with patients' approval, to support the best possible care and, in many cases, eliminate duplicate testing. UC Davis is working with other local providers to establish additional clinical data exchange links so that physicians can quickly access crucial medical information when individuals are seen outside of their usual care network, such as an emergency room visit.
The health system's complex array of electronic content and functionality has garnered other national recognition, such as achieving the EMR Adoption Model Stage 6 level from Healthcare Information Management and Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics, a designation that only 6.2 percent of the nation's 5,318 hospitals has been able to achieve. UC Davis was also one of only 118 hospitals named as the 'Most Connected Hospitals' in the 2011 US News and World Report rankings.
"Qualifying as one of the nation's Most Wired hospitals highlights the holistic approach that UC Davis Health System has taken with health IT," said Minear, who noted that the award criteria include technology attributes that support clinical quality and safety, clinical integration, security, and a stable technology infrastructure. "Modern clinical technologies are used to support quality care and patient safety. The leadership at UC Davis, as well as the highly dedicated clinical and IT professionals has effectively leveraged technology within a highly secure environment. One of the unique strengths of the health system is how successfully UC Davis has incorporated modern clinical technology into the entire care process."
Background on "Most Wired"
Hospitals & Health Networks magazine, a publication of the American Hospital Association, compiles its "Most Wired" list annually using survey results from hospitals and health systems throughout the United States. Participating organizations are surveyed for use of IT in four focus areas: Infrastructure; Business and Administrative Management; Clinical Quality and Safety (inpatient/outpatient hospital); and Care Continuum (ambulatory/physician/community). Organizations whose responses reflect core development across all four areas are designated as "Most Wired." A full list of award winners can be found online at http://www.hhnmostwired.com/.