Mountain States Health Alliance again named a 'Most Wired' health system
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – Mountain States Health Alliance was recently recognized for the third year in a row by Hospitals & Health Networks magazine as a “Most Wired” hospital or health system. The honor acknowledges a high level of sophistication throughout the system in creating and using electronic medical records.
The results were announced as part of the 16th annual Health Care’s Most Wired Survey, sponsored by H&HN. Health Forum, an American Hospital Association information company, distributes, collects and analyzes the Most Wired data and develops benchmarks for measuring IT adoption for operational, financial and clinical performance in health care delivery systems.
“We’re honored to be a recipient of this recognition, especially since it’s the third year in a row for us,” said Paul Merrywell, chief information officer for Mountain States. “I think it demonstrates that we’re on track with other progressive health systems across the country when it comes to using technology tools to improve the delivery of health care.
“And that’s the big thing – it’s not just a matter of having this technology; we want to make sure it translates into better and faster health care for our patients and their families.”
In order to qualify as “Most Wired,” an organization must meet every item on a list of criteria in four key areas: infrastructure, business and administrative management, clinical quality and safety, and clinical integration.
More than 350 hospitals and health systems across the nation met the criteria this year. Mountain States was one of five organizations in Tennessee to be recognized; the others were HCA Healthcare and Vanderbilt University Medical Center, both in Nashville; IASIS Healthcare in Franklin; and Covenant Health in Knoxville. Details of the results can be found at www.hhnmag.com.
All of Mountain States’ clinics as well as its 14 hospitals in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia have already implemented at least the basic components of electronic medical record systems, but the push for better technology and more value for patients doesn’t end there. This year Mountain States has focused on adding applications and modules that improve workflow and add value for patients and their families.
“One of the accomplishments I’m most proud of is the development of an electronic sepsis screening tool that automatically initiates a clinical evaluation (a nursing assessment), and if necessary allows for very rapid delivery of specialized care for those patients,” Merrywell said.
Among other recent advancements and accomplishments at Mountain States: widespread distribution of an integrated nursing plan-of-care module, physician order entry in emergency departments including sophisticated medication administration system, a patient portal, and replacement of the surgical information system.