The nation's Most Wired hospitals, as recently recognized by Hospitals & Health Networks, are making significant progress in certain areas of health IT, according to the publication's 13th Annual Most Wired Survey.
Computerized physician order entry is one of the bright spots for such facilities, according to the survey, as 67 percent ordered medications electronically, compared with 46 percent of the total responders.
What's more, at the vanguard institutions, 59 percent of physician orders were entered electronically, compared to 27 percent five years ago. Among all hospitals surveyed, 40 percent of orders were found to have been entered online. This upward movement seems to be related to Meaningful Use, which requires the use of CPOE to order medications for at least 30 percent of patients.
Another area where hospitals made great strides was in using IT to improve medication safety. According to H&HN, 66 percent of the Most Wired hospitals, and 54 percent of all respondents, used bar coding or RFID at the bedside to match drugs, orders and patients with nurses. That's up from 23 percent for Most Wired and 14 percent for all hospitals in 2005.
Hospitals also are improving data security and disaster preparedness. Eighty-two percent of the Most Wired hospitals, and 57 percent of all surveyed hospitals, store clinical data within 24 hours after losing power. Moreover, encryption of data is increasing. All of the Most Wired encrypt data for laptops, while 76 percent encrypt them for smart phones--substantially more than at other hospitals.