Sarah Bush Lincoln has been recognized as one of the nation’s Most Wired Hospitals for 2016, an award it has received for the ninth time. The designation is based on the results of the 2016 “Most Wired Survey and Benchmarking Study” published in the July issue of Hospitals & Health Networks magazine.
The annual survey, now in its 18th year, assesses how hospitals use information technology to address and enhance patient safety, quality of care, public health, administrative processes and workforce decisions. This year, 2,146 hospitals, or 34 percent of all hospitals in the nation, participated in the survey.
In 2015, Sarah Bush Lincoln committed to a $41 million investment in technology by changing its system-wide information technology system from a single operating system (Meditech) to three separate but greatly enhanced systems. Sarah Bush Lincoln will replace Meditech, with Cerner Millennium® and its full suite of healthcare clinical and end-to-end revenue cycle management solutions across the organization’s hospital, 30 clinics, new Regional Cancer Center and state-of-the-art Center for Healthy Living. The go-live date is expected in October.
“Sarah Bush Lincoln is a rapidly growing health system and Cerner aligns with our vision to provide innovative, preventive and quality care to each of our patients,” Maggie Ratliff, Sarah Bush Lincoln Vice President Information Systems said. “Our mission is to meet the needs of our community by lowering costs, increasing efficiency and managing the population one person at a time and we are honored to be recognized for the ninth time as a Most Wired hospital.
The nation’s Most Wired hospitals are leveraging the adoption and use of health information technology to improve performance in a number of areas, according to Health Care’s Most Wired 2016 Survey. Hospitals are focused on cybersecurity and new ways of delivering care and engaging with the patient, as well as increased use of predictive analytics for population health.
Sarah Bush Lincoln’s goal of becoming “wired” spans the entire organization. Departments such as patient billing, materials management, staff scheduling, and risk management use computerized systems to collect and analyze data. Sarah Bush Lincoln updated its website in 2015 to offer more interactivity and engagement to its users. It offers a patient portal in which participants can request an appointment, request a medication refill, view their test results and talk with their doctor or mid-level provider’s office online. People may also pay their bills online.
Sarah Bush Lincoln uses bedside bar coding devices to help match prescribed medications to the appropriate patient; an image archiving system so radiology tests can be easily sent to referring doctors in other organizations; and devices in surgery so the patients medical record can be quickly accessed when needed. The Health Center has also initiated medication reconciliation, which improves patient safety and healthcare efficiency by allowing clinical staff to obtain and maintain a current, electronic medication history that follows the patient through all healthcare encounters.
In 2015, Sarah Bush Lincoln also launched a new mobile app, the SBL Health Hub, which provides an easier and faster way to gain healthcare information. It is available for Apple and Android devices. In addition, Sarah Bush Lincoln uses social media such as blogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flicker to better engage the community in conversation.