The Hospitals and Health Networks, a publication of the American Hospital Association, has named VA Palo Alto Health Care System (VAPAHCS) as one of the Nation's Most Wired Hospitals. This is the 13th year the magazine has recognized hospitals and health systems for excellence in IT, and the 6th time that VAPAHCS has received the award.
"We are fortunate to have staff who readily embrace change and actively seek cutting edge technologies to enhance our health care delivery," said Lisa Freeman, VAPAHCS Director. "We know innovation and technology improve our ability to provide safe, effective, and efficient care to our Veterans."
AHA used a new analytic structure to stratify hospitals based on progress in adoption, implementation and use of information technology in four areas: infrastructure, business and administration management, clinical quality and safety, and care continuum. Only organizations whose responses reflect development across all four focus areas were designated Most Wired.
This year, 1,300 hospitals and health systems completed the AHA survey, roughly 24 percent of all US hospitals. Even with additional and more stringent requirements, VAPAHCS ranked among the top, along with such institutions as Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Mayo Clinic, Memorial Sloan Treatment Center, and Yale, Harvard, and Stanford Hospitals.
"The Most Wired data reinforce the trend we've been seeing over the past few years of hospitals moving forward with technologies that are the most important for clinical care and patient safety," said Chantal Worzala, Director of Policy at the American Hospital Association. "We continue to see areas like medication safety and medication reconciliation take priority."
According to the AHA, hospitals that embrace technology demonstrate better patient satisfaction outcomes, along with better outcomes in risk-adjusted mortality and other key quality measurements. Health IT has shown statistical improvement in the quality and safety of care that hospitals deliver every day.
"Not only does excellence in IT allow our clinicians to respond more rapidly and efficiently to the needs of our Veterans, it enables the VA Palo Alto Health Care System to be a national leader in research," said Lisa Freeman. "However, we will not rest on our laurels. We know we have a ways to go to integrate our medical records with DoD, for example, and there is still more we can do to improve patient safety and efficiency. This designation certainly proves we are moving in the right direction."
More info is available on the Most Wired Website.