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Palmetto Health Again Named "Most Wired"
09/10/2013
Palmetto Health Named “Most Wired” for the Sixth Time
Nation’s Most Wired Hospitals Demonstrate Progress Through Innovation

Columbia, SC—For the sixth time, Palmetto Health is being recognized as one of the “Most Wired” organizations by Hospitals & Health Networks magazine. Palmetto Health is the only Midlands health care provider to meet the magazine’s strict criteria and one of only six “Most Wired” organizations in South Carolina. Palmetto Health previously won the award in 2003, 2005, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

The “Most Wired” hospitals and health systems were selected as a result of a nationwide survey that recognizes excellence in information technology. These health care organizations were evaluated on four factors: infrastructure; business and administrative management; clinical quality and safety; and care continuum. This year, only 215 of the 1,570 hospitals surveyed met the strict criteria to make the “Most Wired” list.

Michelle Edwards, chief information officer, is pleased that Palmetto Health is being recognized once again as a leader for its success in using information technology to support and enhance the organization’s clinical and business operations. “We use technology to help physicians and team members provide the highest quality care to our patients by standardizing best practices, creating operational efficiencies and eliminating waste. Technology is essential for empowering Palmetto Health in meeting our patients’ health care needs, now and in the future.”

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Health Care’s Most Wired Survey. In that time, hospitals and health care systems have made great strides in establishing the basic building blocks for creating robust clinical information systems aimed at improving patient care. This includes adopting technologies to improve patient documentation, advance clinical decision support and evidence-based protocols, reduce the likelihood of medication errors, and rapidly restore access to data in the case of a disaster or outage.

“This year’s ‘Most Wired’ organizations exemplify progress through innovation,” said Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association. “The hospital field can learn from these outstanding organizations ways that IT can help to improve efficiency.”

Among some of the key findings this year:
• Sixty-nine percent of “Most Wired” hospitals and 60 percent of all surveyed hospitals report that medication orders are entered electronically by physicians. This represents a significant increase from 2004 results when only 27 percent of “Most Wired” hospitals and 12 percent of all hospitals responded “Yes.”
• Seventy-one percent of “Most Wired” hospitals have an electronic disease registry to identify and manage gaps in care across a population compared with 51 percent of total responders.
• Sixty-six percent of “Most Wired” hospitals share patient discharge data with affiliated hospitals, in comparison to 49 percent of the total responders. Thirty-seven percent of “Most Wired” hospitals do so with non-affiliated hospitals versus 24 percent of total responders.

Tripp Jennings, M.D., system vice president of medical informatics, added, “Palmetto Health has committed to the substantial investment in health information technology to ensure that we can deliver the care we all want for our families and ourselves. This commitment to technology has allowed us to improve our efforts to deliver coordinated patient care throughout Palmetto Health, especially in our nationally recognized patient-centered medical home practices. For example, being able to use our health information exchange allows our caregivers to immediately access potentially lifesaving patient information that improves their ability to provide patients the care they need, especially during an emergency.”

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 659 surveys, representing 1,713 hospitals, or roughly 30 percent of all U.S. hospitals. The July Hospitals & Health Networks magazine cover story detailing results is available at www.hhnmag.com.

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About the AHA
The AHA is a not-for-profit 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, other providers of care and 43,000 individual members. 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 Web site at www.aha.org.

About Palmetto Health
Palmetto Health, the largest healthcare system in the Midlands and third largest non-governmental employer in South Carolina, is composed of more than 10,000 team members, physicians and volunteers working together to fulfill Palmetto Health’s vision: to be remembered by each patient as providing the care and compassion we want for our families and ourselves. The system includes four acute-care hospitals – Palmetto Health Baptist, Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital, Palmetto Health Heart Hospital and Palmetto Health Richland – as well as an expansive physician practice network, dozens of affiliated clinics and specialty care practices, and a 501(c)(3) foundation. Palmetto Health Baptist Parkridge, the region’s newest hospital located in northwest Columbia, is scheduled to open in December 2013. Recognized nationally as one of the best places to work and receive care, Palmetto Health also trains the next generation of physicians through its 23 residency and fellowship programs affiliated with the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. For more information, visit www.PalmettoHealth.org.

About the Most Wired Survey
The 2013 Most Wired Survey is conducted in cooperation with McKesson Corp., AT&T, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, and the American Hospital Association.

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