Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) has been named one of the nation's "Most Wired" hospitals by Health & Health Networks magazine. The magazine measures the level of health information technology (IT) adoption annually in U.S. hospitals and health systems through an annual survey process. Being named to the list is recognition of a health care organization's investment in technology that supports patient safety, quality care and best health care practice.
Although 680 hospitals and health networks participated in this year's study, only 375 were named to the list. Marty Miller, chief information officer for Children's Hospital Los Angeles says, "It is impossible to obtain this distinction without the ideal combination of people, processes and technology. It takes thought, dedication and persistence over many years to reach a point where you are considered a technology leader in health care."
Hospitals that invest in health IT often offer their patients care that is better coordinated and more streamlined and the opportunity to empower themselves through direct access to their own medical records. When clinicians have instant access to the information that they need to make care decisions, patients can benefit with faster and more comprehensive recoveries, especially when being treated for acute or complex illness. Children's Hospital Los Angeles' technology investments have resulted in a single, unified electronic medical record system for the institution that spans all major hospital areas including inpatient, outpatient, emergency, intensive care and surgical units.
"Having a single digital electronic medical record for our patients makes it possible for an entire team of clinicians across the continuum of care able to review a patient's chart without needing to request that a physical chart be transported to them, which can take time and resources and sometimes delay care decisions," says Sajjad A. Yacoob, MD, chief medical information officer for CHLA. "An automated medical record system means that our need for information as clinicians can now measure up to the speed at which we deliver safe, effective care."
The medical record is not the only area that can benefit from an infusion of health IT. CHLA recently implemented an electronic nurse scheduling system, as well as care management programming to help make milestones visible for all clinicians involved in a patient's care. On the business side, time and attendance is now managed electronically and the hospital is currently launching a web portal for patients to obtain their medical records. Called myKIDS, the new site is designed to help empower parents to become active partners in their child's care and provides insights into appointments, lab and test results and permits parents to submit prescription renewals and secure messages to their child's doctors online.
"While we're proud of where we are now, we have an even greater vision for the future. From partnering with other health care institutions to access to real-time clinical data for patients who show up in our emergency room to using technology to perfect our patient safety and quality practices, we are committed to making a positive impact on the health of children inside and outside of our hospital," adds Miller.
Health & Healthcare Networks magazine has been publishing the "Most Wired Hospitals and Health Systems" list for 16 years. The outcomes are based on responses to its Most Wired Survey, an industry-standard benchmark study completed on an annual basis that measures the level of IT adoption in U.S. hospitals and health systems. Health care organizations that complete the survey are required to submit comprehensive information covering their health information technology investments in four key areas covering infrastructure, business and administrative management, clinical quality and safety and clinical integration. "Most Wired" health care organizations will be recognized for their accomplishments at an award ceremony during the Health Forum and American Hospital Association Leadership Summit in San Diego, July 20-22.
Children's Hospital Los Angeles