Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Recognized Among the Nation's 2012 "Most Wired" Hospitals
The hospital was recognized for excellence in information technology initiatives.
Editor's Note: The following information is a press release from Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) has been recognized among the nation’s “Most Wired” hospitals according to the results of the 2012 Most Wired Survey released Tuesday in the July issue of Hospitals & Health Networks, the flagship magazine of the American Hospital Association.
The annual “Most Wired” survey recognizes hospitals and health systems for excellence in information technology (IT) initiatives. This year, RWJUH is one of only nine hospitals in New Jersey to achieve the “Most Wired” distinction and is among less than a dozen hospitals in the state to be recognized for its IT initiatives based on the survey results.
This year’s findings show that, as a field, the nation’s “Most Wired” hospitals are leveraging the adoption and use of health information technology (IT) to improve performance in a number of areas, such as protecting patient data and optimizing patient flow and communications.
RWJUH has received more than $5.5 million in Medicaid incentive meaningful use payments to support its transition to all electronic medical records by 2014. Robert Irwin, Vice President of Information Technology at RWJUH, says the hospital already has digitalized more than 80 percent of its patient records and continues to make significant progress toward achieving its goal.
The hospital also has all patient discharge summaries, nurses’ notes and physical therapy reports filed electronically. Irwin also notes that RWJUH is investing in an Electronic Master Patient Index to properly identify patients at the time of service across the continuum of care.
Irwin says that transitioning to electronic medical records will not only increase the efficiency of hospital operations, it will enhance the quality of care it provides. “Converting to electronic medical records also will make it easier to share information among hospitals, doctors and providers in many settings,” he explains. “It has enormous potential to reduce the risk of medical errors caused by data entry issues or illegible handwriting.”
Irwin adds “The ability for a clinician to view a patient’s clinical information at the time of treatment is critical to improving the patient experience and lowering costs. Duplicate diagnostic tests are eliminated, repetitive questions are reduced and medications are properly managed, which contributes to an increasingly informed care team.”
Irwin also points out that by harnessing the power of this collective data through storing and cataloging it electronically, health care providers and researchers will be able to conduct population studies to identify trends and address specific needs, which can lead to an overall improvement in the population’s health.
Of note, nearly one half of Most Wired hospitals utilize social media for community outreach and crisis communication compared to one-third of total respondents. At RWJUH, the hospital’s social media presence continues to grow. Usage of the hospital’s Facebook page increased by 193 percent in 2011. The hospital also used its Facebook and Twitter pages to provide regular updates to the public about hospital operations during Hurricane Irene, which struck New Jersey in August 2011.
“As shown by these survey results, hospitals continue to demonstrate how IT not only can be used to improve patient care and safety but it is also a means to improve efficiency,” says Rich Umbdenstock, President and CEO of the American Hospital Association (AHA).
The July H&HN cover story detailing survey results is available at www.hhnmag.com.