For Hospitals, What Does It Mean to Be the ‘Most Wired’ in 2017?

Most Wired Hospitals Last month, Hospitals & Health Networks published the findings of its 2017 Health Care’s Most Wired survey, conducted in partnership with the American Hospital Association. It’s a longstanding survey, now in its 19th year. The 2017 findings point to a fundamental—and, to me, very exciting—shift in the way hospitals are viewing and using technology.

Today, hospitals have moved beyond simply seeking to acquire technology. Now, the study found, hospitals have the core pieces in place. The challenge for executives is integrating systems and processes to achieve strategic goals—from driving efficiencies and improving patient care and patient experience to conducting population health management.

H&HN writer Rebecca Vesely also points to another compelling finding from this year’s survey: “More than ever before, hospitals are using data and analytics to foster a culture of self-improvement. They are strengthening patients’ ability to obtain, use and share their own data and records securely. And they are offering innovative access to care through secure messaging, telehealth and mobile app services. They are also taking cybersecurity seriously with frequent system audits and staff trainings.”

Though they have opportunities for further integration, the Most Wired hospitals are already making more, and better, use of data to foster a culture of continuous improvement. In this year’s survey, 39% of respondents indicated that their hospital or system delivers quality measures to clinicians electronically and in real time. That’s up from 26% in 2015 and 32% last year (and we expect that number to continue to rise in next year’s survey, too).

The survey findings resonate with our experiences at STANLEY Healthcare. Historically, hospitals have relied on our solutions to locate assets, monitor environmental conditions and improve patient flow. All of that is still true. What’s changing is that our solutions—and our clients—have evolved toward visual analytics and leadership dashboards. It’s now possible to use all of the asset, environmental and other location-based data for visual analytics. When designed and implemented well, those analytics can support not only better in-the-moment decisions but also continuous improvement initiatives over the long term.

Our focus is on producing dashboards that serve up clear, concise, actionable data that empower hospital personnel—from senior leaders to front-line clinicians—to understand and improve performance. It’s not about more data; it’s about the right information and the right analysis of it. In the OR, that typically means serving up real-time data about current results across a series of key performance indicators. For nurse managers, it can include visual data about how staff are complying with hand-hygiene rules—from a view of unit-wide compliance down to the individual employee level.

We’re proud that two of our customers—Jon Morris, MD, chief technology officer and CIO at Wellstar Health System in Marietta, Georgia, and Steven J. Hess, CIO at UCHealth in Aurora, Colorado—are featured in the Most Wired Hospitals coverage. Whether or not your hospital made this year’s list, consider how you can use visual analytics to see—and seize—opportunities for continuous improvement.