The Oregon Health & Science University Health Care System has been named one of the nation's 100 Most Wired hospitals and health care systems by Hospitals & Health Networks, the journal of the American Hospital Association. This prestigious award is based on the third annual survey, developed in conjunction with Deloitte Consulting and McKessonHBOC, which polled the nation's health care systems on their use of Internet technologies to connect with patients, physicians, nurses, payors, health plans and employees. This is the first time OHSU has been named to the list.
"The designation reflects the incredible efforts and hard work of the Information Technology Group at OHSU, and OHSU's hospitals and clinics staff to achieve the goals laid out in the OHSU Information Technology Plan," said OHSU chief information officer John Kenagy. "The award also recognizes how far we have come in meeting the information needs of our patients, clinicians and administrative staff."
In recent years, OHSU has taken advantage of the latest technologies to provide the following:
• A "filmless" radiology program allowing health care providers instant access to patient X-rays, MRIs and other imaging materials. The technology that makes this possible is called the Picture Archiving and Communication System, which digitally stores, transmits and displays images at workstations throughout OHSU's hospitals and clinics.
• High-speed Internet (T-1) connections in patient rooms at Doernbecher Children's Hospital. These connections allow patients and their families easy access to health information provided electronically by the university and on the Web. Patients also can use the computer terminals to communicate through video connections with their schools, friends and loved-ones, and even other pediatric patients.
• Video conferencing has allowed the university to expand its outreach mission in educating students statewide. This allows students to learn at home and encourages improved rural health care.
• OHSU is connected to the next, higher-speed generation of the Internet known as Internet2. Internet2 allows for faster data exchange among other research and education systems, and provides OHSU researchers with easy access to complex data.
• Development of a remote connectivity system allowing OHSU faculty, students, staff and colleagues secure and complete remote access to patient care information.
• OHSU's recent merger with the Oregon Graduate Institute of Science and Technology will provide additional computer science expertise benefiting patients and staff. The addition of the university's fourth school also ensures OHSU's continued commitment to teaching, research, and healing using the latest computer technologies.
To compile the 100 Most Wired list, Hospitals & Health Networks worked with two leading firms -- Deloitte Consulting and McKessonHBOC -- to develop an in-depth, eight-page survey that was sent to every hospital in the United States. The survey collected information about the use of Internet technologies to connect hospitals with patients, physicians, nurses, employees, payors and health plans. Results from the survey were used to name the 100 Most Wired. More than 280 hospitals and health systems responded to the survey, representing 1,177 hospitals.
For the first time, the magazine took the analysis one step further. "We took the Most Wired data and asked if there is any benefit to being a leader," said Alden Solovy, executive editor, Hospitals & Health Networks. "Along with higher credit ratings, the Most Wired have greater expense control and more productivity."
Randy Spratt, senior vice president, technology and standards with McKessonHBOC, said "These correlations aren't surprising, but they're extremely important. This is the first analysis that compares overall financial performance with IT investment."
The Most Wired have a key management strategy in common, said Jeff Miller, an Atlanta-based partner with Deloitte Consulting: leadership. "What does it take to be a leader? It's the diligence to continue to look at where you are and where you need to be."
The 100 Most Wired were named in the July issue of Hospitals & Health Networks. It is the American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors' 2001 Magazine of the Year. Deloitte Consulting is one of the world's leading consulting firms. McKessonHBOC is a Fortune 35 company serving the supply management and information technology needs of health care organizations.