PINEHURST — FirstHealth of the Carolinas has been recognized as one of the nation’s “Most Wired” hospitals for the seventh year.
Technology is making it easier for patients and providers to interact, thus improving communication, safety and patient-provider relationships. New tools are helping patients become more actively involved in their care and maintaining their health, according to results of the 19th Annual Health Care’s Most Wired survey, released July 10, 2017, by the American Hospital Association’s Health Forum.
FirstHealth’s designation as one of the nation’s most wired comes on the heels of the health care network’s July 1 system-wide launch of Epic information technology.
“It is an honor for FirstHealth to again be recognized as one of the nation’s most wired,” said Dave Dillehunt, FirstHealth chief information officer. “We are committed to advancements in technology to provide our patients with the highest quality, safest and most efficient care possible. The installation of our new electronic medical record is an example of that commitment and constitutes one of the largest patient care projects ever to be undertaken by FirstHealth.”
From Pinehurst to Troy to Rockingham to Hamlet to Raeford and numerous locations between and beyond, the multi-county FirstHealth health care system is bound by patient-centric software to provide a convenient, consistent and safe way to maintain medical records and communicate.
The systemwide Epic implementation combined a number of functions previously performed via several different programs into uniform software programming. Of greatest significance to patients is the FirstHealth MyChart patient portal, which provides patients access to their electronic medical record, not only giving them easy access to their clinical information but also allowing them to pay bills, refill prescriptions, schedule appointments and communicate with their providers online.
“The Most Wired hospitals are using every available technology option to create more ways to reach their patients in order to provide access to care,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. “They are transforming care delivery, investing in new delivery models in order to improve quality, provide access and control costs.”
Innovation in patient care embraces emerging technologies and underscores the need for secure patient information exchange. Hospitals have increased their use of sophisticated information technology monitoring systems to detect patient privacy breaches, monitor for malicious activities or policy violations and produce real-time analysis of security alerts.
• Ninety-seven percent use intrusion detection systems.
• Ninety-six percent perform data access audits.
• Nearly 90 percent run targeted phishing exercises to teach employees to question suspicious emails.
“Patient privacy and health care data security are top priorities for FirstHealth and a shared responsibility among our entire staff,” said Dillehunt. “Through ongoing staff education and investments in infrastructure security, we are committed to strengthening our defenses against data breaches.”
HealthCare’s Most Wired survey, conducted between Jan. 15 and March 15, 2017, is published annually by Hospitals & Health Networks. The 2017 Most Wired survey and benchmarking study is a leading industry barometer measuring information IT use and adoption among hospitals nationwide. The survey of 698 participants, representing an estimated 2,158 hospitals — more than 39 percent of all hospitals in the U.S. — examines how organizations are leveraging IT to improve performance for value-based health care in the areas of infrastructure, business and administrative management; quality and safety; and clinical integration.
Detailed results of the survey and study can be found in the July issue of H&HN. For a full list of winners, visit www.hhnmag.com.