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Harris Health System Joins Elite Group of “Most Wired” Again

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For the fourth year in a row, Harris Health System earned the “Most Wired” designation in the 16th annual Health Care’s Most Wired Survey by Hospitals and Health Networks, the flagship publication of the American Hospital Association. This year, Harris Health joins three other healthcare systems in Houston and nine others in Texas to be recognized as Most Wired.

“This recognition means Harris Health System is a leader in using technology to improve both the quality of care and the patient care experience,” says Tim Tindle, executive vice president and chief information officer, Harris Health. “A patient’s complete medical record, including imaging, now is available to all of our clinicians anytime and anywhere in our healthcare system. Even our patients can access their medical records using our online tools.”

The results of the 2014 Most Wired Survey appear in the July issue of Hospitals & Health Networks. The nation’s winning hospitals and healthcare systems were recognized for expanding and adopting technology that aid in improving patient care. The survey found that 67 percent of Most Wired hospitals share critical patient information electronically with specialists and other care providers. In efforts 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.

“Information Technology is a team sport. The credit belongs to the entire staff,” Tindle says. “IT staff translates the needs of the organization into information technology solutions, runs the servers, builds the networks, trains the users and answers the technical calls, but it’s our clinical and support staff who put these technologies to use.”

Other key survey findings of Most Wired winners relate to improving quality and patient safety:

• 36 percent aggregate data from patient encounters to create a community health record
• 71 percent manage care transitions compared with 57 percent of all responding organizations
• 43 percent integrate clinical and claims data so that they are accessible, searchable, and reportable across the care community
• 69 percent use tools for retrospective analysis of clinical and administrative data to identify areas for improving the quality of care and reducing the cost of care delivered
• 35 percent use social media to deliver care management messages and 40 percent provide mobile applications for secure messaging with patients

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.

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