Franklin Memorial Named Among the Nationâ€™s Most Wired Hospitals
More than 1,300 hospitals considered for the award
July 12, 2011
IT staff gather with hospital president Rebecca Ryder. Front left to right: Kathy Horton, Cathy White, Maureen McCool, Pat Chick, and Rebecca Ryder. Middle row: Denise Ouellette, Chuck Pritchard, Dee Robinson, Zeb Luce, and Geordan Brown. Back row: Frank Hosea, Julie Welch, Muriel Armstrong, Ralph Johnson, Bill Colwell, Wayne Moody, and Patrick O'Brien.
Franklin Memorial Hospital has been named among the nation’s most wired hospitals according to the results of the 2011 Most Wired Survey Benchmarking Study released in the July issue of Hospitals & Health Networks, the journal of the American Hospital Association (AHA).
“Most Wired” hospitals show better outcomes in patient satisfaction, risk-adjusted mortality rates, and other key quality measures through the use of information technology. This year, 530 health systems and hospitals representing 1,388 hospitals were considered for the award. The Most Wired survey focuses on how hospitals use information technologies (IT) in four critical areas: infrastructure, business and administrative management, clinical quality and safety, and care continuum.
“Greater adoption of IT can bring important new tools to our efforts to improve the safety and quality of care in hospitals, and better coordinate care across settings,” says Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the AHA. “To promote further use of information technology, we are aggressively working to remove regulatory barriers, and provide clarity in areas such as the meaningful use criteria.”
Franklin Memorial Hospital has made information technology a priority in recent years. For example, in the last year all Franklin Health medical practices and the hospital emergency department converted from paper medical records to electronic medical records that provide instant and complete patient information to consulting health care providers in medical offices, emergency rooms, hospitals, and other health facilities to improve patient care.
Rebecca Ryder, president of Franklin Community Health Network (FCHN) and Franklin Memorial Hospital, said being named to the list was an important milestone. “This is a very prestigious and a very much sought after award,” she said, adding that the achievement “is not just about the IT Department, but the entire staff who has embraced the new technologies.”
In making the announcement to staff Ryder stated, “This award recognizes the adoption of technology in all aspects of the hospital’s operation: from physicians prescribing medications on the computer; to hospital nurses verifying medications with a bar code scanner for patient safety; to a professional practice council that brought IV smart pumps to the bedside to protect against medication errors; to materials management reducing costs through streamlined supply ordering; and finally to our patients who pay their bills and order prescription refills online. These are just a few of the examples of the technology that our staff has embraced.”
“As health reform unfolds, it’s clear that IT will play an even more important role in the health system of tomorrow. Most Wired hospitals help illustrate IT in action—improving efficiency, quality and safety of care while helping to control costs,” Ryder added. “Recognition as a Most Wired hospital demonstrates that Franklin Memorial Hospital is on the cutting edge of health care delivery not only in Maine, but nationally as well.”
“Critical investments in servers, networks and other unseen hardware and wires, while usually unseen and not in the forefront of people’s consciousness, is vitally important to the adoption of technology,” said Ralph Johnson, FCHN chief information officer. “The Franklin Community Health Network’s board of directors is to be commended for their vision and dedication that ensures that technology is part of the strategic planning process and holds this organization accountable to making wise decisions on the use of those investments,”.
Franklin Memorial Hospital and Maine Medical Center are the only two hospitals in Maine to be recognized in the “Most Wired” category this year. Central Maine Medical Center was cited among the 25 “Most Improved.”
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