More than 200 hospitals--a record number--earned "Most Wired" status in Hospitals & Health Networks' 14th annual Most Wired survey. Completed by 662 entities representing 1,570 hospitals, the survey measures how facilities are planning for, utilizing and protecting their information systems.
In an article reporting on the results, H&HN Senior Editor Matthew Weinstock noted that the most important development of the past couple of years is "the greater strategic role IT and IT departments now play in hospitals and health systems."
Among the key findings in this year's survey:
- Ninety-three percent of Most Wired hospitals employ intrusion detection systems to protect patient privacy and security of patient data, in comparison to 74 percent of the total responders.
- Seventy-four percent of Most Wired hospitals and 57 percent of all surveyed hospitals use automated patient flow systems.
- Ninety percent of Most Wired hospitals and 73 percent of all respondents use performance improvement scorecards to help reduce inefficiencies.
- All of the Most Wired hospitals check drug interactions and drug allergies when medications are ordered.
- Nearly half of Most Wired hospitals utilize social media for community outreach and crisis communication, compared to one-third of total respondents.
- More than a quarter of Most Wired facilities offer care management messages and the ability to "chat" online with physicians.
Most Wired hospitals were significantly more likely to use specific security measures than other institutions were. Of the Most Wired facilities, 98 percent did risk analyses to identify security gaps and vulnerabilities; 86 percent did "penetration testing" to identify security risks; and 93 percent performed wireless security assessments.
The Most Wired report also measures Most Wired hospitals on a number of other performance indicators related to health IT and compares that to the performance of less wired facilities.
This year's report did not break out the percentages of hospitals that use computerized physician order entry (CPOE). In 2011, 67 percent of Most Wired hospitals used CPOE, versus 46 percent of all responding hospitals.
Similarly, there was no data on the use of bar-coded medication administration. Last year, 66 percent of Most Wired facilities and 54 percent of all respondents used bar coding or RFID at the bedside to match medications with orders and patients.