SMH Among America’s ’Most Wired’ Hospitals

SMH Among America’s ’Most Wired’ Hospitals

Survey spotlights tech-savvy hospitals using information technology, smart apps to partner with patients on health

Monday, July 10, 2017

SARASOTA (July 10, 2017) – Sarasota Memorial Hospital was listed among America’s “Most Wired” hospitals by the American Hospital Association (AHA) today.

Results from the 19th Annual HealthCare’s Most Wired® survey, released today by the AHA Health Forum, spotlight Sarasota Memorial among 461 tech-savvy hospitals pioneering emerging technologies that promote the secure exchange of patient information and use of smart devices, telehealth and remote monitoring, and encourage patients to become more actively involved in their healthcare. 

Hospitals earning high marks for their use of information technologies also were recognized for developing sophisticated IT systems that support quality and safety, such as bar code medication administration and real-time decision support alerts, clinical integration to provide a patient-centered record across the continuum of care; and security systems and controls to monitor for malicious activities and protect patients and staff from privacy breaches. 

“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.”

Some of the 'Most Wired' hospital initiatives include:

• Using telehealth to provide health assessment and services to patients. Sarasota Memorial’s telestroke program uses telehealth technology to fill vital gaps of care in the Southwest Florida region. Using an online app with high-definition video, SMH’s stroke team provides neurological assessments 24 hours a day, seven days a week remotely from SMH to Desoto Memorial Hospital and other clinical settings where neurologists are not immediately available to assess patients in stroke emergencies.

• When remotely monitoring patients at home, using secure emails for patients and families to keep in touch with the care team. Sarasota Memorial provides real-time care management services to patients at home for diabetes and congestive heart failure via secure online telehealth systems and clinical apps.

• Offering secure messaging with clinicians on mobile devices. Among other applications, SMH offers real-time, secure text updates from the operating room to designated family members to ease their worries while they are waiting for a loved one in surgery. Sarasota Memorial also pioneered the use of Voalte, a communication tool that allows caregivers to send and receive secure text messages and receive critical care alerts on a smart phone. 

• Implementing sophisticated monitoring systems and data access audits that detect unauthorized access or external intrusions. 

• Using electronic health record data with secure population health tools to help identify and manage population health and chronic disease.

Sarasota Memorial Chief Information Officer Pam Ramhofer said everyone benefits when a hospital is “wired.”  CIO Pam Ramhofer

“Not only do technological advances improve clinical capabilities,” Ramhofer said, “hospitals also can use the technology to expand communication and therapeutic relationships between patients, staff and physicians.

“Whether someone is having surgery in the hospital, managing a chronic condition like heart failure at home, or going to an outpatient lab for a simple blood test, there are technologies at work that help secure and communicate health information more effectively, and that is key to maintaining patient privacy and achieving superior clinical outcomes.”

About the Most Wired Survey

The 2017 Most Wired® survey and benchmarking study, published annually by Health & Hospitals Networks (H&HN), in cooperation with the not-for-profit American Hospital Association, is a leading industry measure of information technology (IT) use and adoption among hospitals nationwide. The 2017 survey – which represents 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 healthcare 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

About Sarasota Memorial

Sarasota Memorial Health Care System is a regional referral center offering Southwest Florida’s greatest breadth and depth of care, with more than 900,000 patient visits each year. Sarasota Memorial’s flagship 829-bed, acute-care hospital has been consistently recognized as one of the nation’s largest, and best, with superior patient outcomes and a complete continuum of outpatient services ­— from urgent care and trauma and emergency services to laboratory and diagnostic imaging, home health, skilled nursing, and rehabilitation. Sarasota Memorial is the only hospital in Florida to earn a five-star ranking from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid for quality and safety.  For information, visit: www.smh.com 

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