West Michigan hospitals rate among ‘most wired’ in US


Michael Olgren. Courtesy Mercy Health St. Mary’s

Seven West Michigan hospitals are considered to be among the “most-wired” hospitals in the country.

Health Forum, an American Hospital Association, or AHA, organization, released the results of its 18th-annual “Health Care’s Most Wired” survey this month.

Mercy Health Saint Mary’s in Grand Rapids and Metro Health Hospital in Wyoming are two of the 24 Michigan hospitals that are recognized in the organization's 2016 listing "Most Wired" listing.

West Michigan hospitals Battle Creek VA Medical Center, Bronson Battle Creek Hospital, Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo, Bronson Lakeview Hospital in Paw Paw and Lakeland Medical Center in St Joseph also appear on the list.

This year’s survey was conducted between Jan. 15 and March 15 by Health Forum, which distributes, collects and analyzes the “Most Wired” data.

The survey is designed to measure the level of IT adoption in U.S. hospitals and health systems and to serve as a tool for hospital and health system leadership to map IT strategic plans.

This year’s list includes hospitals and health systems that are ramping up their efforts to stop hackers and also working to boost their capabilities in telehealth and population health, according to Hospitals & Health Networks, which publishes the annual results.

Rick Pollack, president and CEO of the AHA, said hospitals are “breaking out of their traditional four walls” and providing care “where and when patients need it.”

“These ‘Most Wired’ hospitals exemplify this transformation by harnessing technology, engaging patients and offering services remotely,” he said.

Pollack said removing policy and other barriers to telehealth will allow even faster adoption of “amazing” technologies.

Dr. Michael Olgren, chief medical information officer for Mercy Health Saint Mary's, said the hospital has been on the “forefront of innovation,” implementing technology solutions, such as secure texting and an online patient portal.

The full listing of the "Most Wired" hospitals by state is online.

“Most Wired” survey findings

68 percent of “Most Wired” hospitals accept patient-generated data through a patient portal

61 percent of “Most Wired” hospitals use social media to provide support groups

53 percent of “Most Wired” hospitals interface electronic health record data with population health tools

62 percent of “Most Wired” hospitals stratify patients according to risk

51 percent of “Most Wired” hospitals aggregate data from patient encounters to create a community health record

81 percent of “Most Wired” hospitals use mobile applications to notify clinicians of sudden changes in patient conditions and correlated events, such as falls or respiratory distress or failure

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