Straight Talk - "Healthcare Most Wired"

July 10, 2014

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Three years ago, NCH became the first healthcare system in Southwest Florida to be named to Hospitals & Health Networks’ “Healthcare Most Wired” list. This week we rejoined the list for the third consecutive year, one of only 20 Florida hospitals and 428 (or 8.5%) of the nation’s 5,000 hospitals.

For 16 years this survey has recognized hospitals that have created robust clinical information systems to improve patient care. Success metrics considered by the survey include adopting technologies to improve 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 disaster or outage.

For the last two decades, NCH has consistently advanced its information technology profile, as we continue to lead our community to enjoying longer, happier, and healthier lives. Under the direction of COO and Acting CIO Phil Dutcher, and Jeff Dindak, Cerner IT Works Client Director, we have experienced an amazingly productive technology year. With our Cerner Corporation partner, the largest healthcare information technology company in the world, we have completed more than 50 significant projects linking clinical care, safety, quality, efficiency and, most important, adding value to our patients. Among the highlights of these innovations:

  • We began a population health engagement program, encouraging individuals to communicate directly with providers from their homes via MyNCH Patient Portal. Up-to-date electronic health records are available securely and confidentially to patients. Enterprise analytics and quality reporting are digitally harvested so we can measure and improve continuously. Predictive modeling is next. We will be able to warn folks who are at risk, so that life-saving intervention may occur earlier.

  • We’ll be installing more Smart Rooms, wirelessly connected to caregivers and the electronic health record, to improve patient education and satisfaction and enhance caregiving for nurses, physicians, and all those who care for hospitalized patients. Objective patient satisfaction measures show statistically significant improvement after Smart Rooms are in place.

  • Quality and safety continue to improve as physician computer provider order entry (CPOE)—rather than hand writing orders—has now passed 90%. CPOE provides a safeguard to check for duplications, omissions, drug interactions, and allergies among other safety measures.

  • A sepsis mortality prevention algorithm has been in place for over a year, providing for early recognition and prevention of blood infections. Last year, sepsis mortality dropped from over 30% to single digits, which translates into the statistical saving of 175 lives.

  • Readmissions at NCH, within 30 days, stands at 8.6%. The national average is at 18.4%. As a consequence of this fine record, for the past two years NCH is the only hospital in Southwest Florida to escape a financial penalty due to excess readmissions.
Admittedly, we’ve been pushing the technological limits, and this coming year we anticipate raising the bar further to become an all-digital integrated system. As the only recipient in Southwest Florida of a Leapfrog “A” grade and as a three-time “Most Wired” hospital, we cannot afford nor do we intend to rest on our laurels.

Allen S. Weiss, M.D., President and CEO

You may contact Dr. Allen Weiss
and The NCH Healthcare System
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