July 22, 2005

VUMC one of nation’s ‘most wired’ hospitals

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VUMC one of nation’s ‘most wired’ hospitals

Vanderbilt University Medical Center has been named among the nation's 100 “most wired” hospitals and health systems in an annual survey jointly conducted by Hospitals and Health Networks magazine, IDX Systems Corp., Accenture and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives.

“For Vanderbilt, this recognition is as much about collaboration as it is about technology,” said Bill Stead, M.D., associate vice chancellor for Health Affairs and director of the Informatics Center. “If our information systems are seen as helpful and deserving of this special recognition, it’s only because so many clinicians and other users at the Medical Center have worked as close partners with the Informatics Center, providing feedback to strengthen and add value to this shared technology.”

Larry Goldberg, CEO of Vanderbilt University Hospital, agrees.

“It is one more indication of the Medical Center's leadership and success in applying information technology to improve care and help us work more efficiently,” said Larry M. Goldberg, CEO of Vanderbilt University Hospital.

For the 2005 Most Wired Survey and Benchmarking Study, all U.S. hospitals were invited to complete a questionnaire about their use of information technology to support safety and quality, customer service, public health, business processes and the hospital workforce.

In all, 502 hospitals and health systems participated in the 2005 survey; total individual hospitals represented by the respondents came to 1,255, or about 21 percent of all U.S. hospitals.

The 100 top scorers were listed in a recent issue of Hospitals and Health Networks; the list was ordered alphabetically and rankings were not published.

A report published with the list found that risk-adjusted mortality rates among the 100 most wired hospitals and health systems average 7.2 percent lower than among other U.S. hospitals.

The authors of the report were careful not to claim a causal relationship between levels of IT and patient mortality.

“This year's results show an association between outcomes and IT, but do not establish that the outcomes were caused by the technology,” the authors wrote.

The report said the 100 most wired hospitals apply a broader array of IT tools to address quality, that physicians at these hospitals are more apt to enter orders themselves and that clinicians and pharmacists at these hospitals are more used to responding to electronic clinical alerts.