UC San Diego Health has been named one of the nation’s “Most Wired” health systems by Hospitals & Health Networks magazine, a publication of the American Hospital Association. The award recognizes hospitals and health systems that excel in using information technology (IT) to advance patient care and population health, protect the privacy and security of patient information, and bring greater efficiencies to operations.
Only two hospital systems in the San Diego region earned the Most Wired distinction this year.
“Information technology drives or supports many innovations in health care delivery today,” said Christopher Longhurst, MD, chief information officer and professor of medicine and pediatrics at UC San Diego Health. “Our operating rooms, intensive care units, imaging services, pharmacies, electronic medical records and telemedicine platforms all rely on medical-grade IT infrastructure. The Most Wired award is recognition that we are effectively and efficiently leveraging technology to advance health care.”
Among the initiatives contributing to UC San Diego Health’s Most Wired status in 2017 is the highly advanced technology within the 245-bed Jacobs Medical Center at UC San Diego Health, which opened last fall. This infrastructure supports the region’s most advanced intraoperative imaging suite for complex brain and spine surgeries, wireless monitoring of neonates in a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and technologies to enhance the patient experience.
Jacobs Medical Center is the first hospital in California to equip every patient room with an iPad, allowing patients to access their medical records, control the room environment, and remotely operate entertainment options from bed.
UC San Diego Health in 2016 also began hosting the electronic medical records systems for UC Riverside and community practice affiliates, a cost-saving arrangement that improves coordination of care among physicians. Longhurst is also the sponsoring chief information officer for the development of a UC Health-wide data warehouse, integrating patient data across the UC’s five health systems, which together comprise the fourth largest health care system in California. This initiative supports medical decision making, clinical research and population health throughout the state.
“Our initiatives are ensuring that UC San Diego Health is an industry leader in IT-enabled health care delivery while ensuring privacy and security of precious data,” said Longhurst, who was honored with a San Diego Top Tech Exec award in 2017. “We are proud to bring technology to the fore in supporting the delivery of high-value care.”
About the Most Wired Survey
The 19th Annual Health Care’s Most Wired survey is based on results of a questionnaire of IT use in four key areas: infrastructure, business and administrative management, clinical quality and safety, and clinical integration. Within these four broad categories, hospitals and health systems are probed on topics related to security, privacy protection, backup systems, wireless technologies, automation, barcoding, electronic health records, health information sharing, telemedicine, and consumer tools, among other things. To be on the Most Wired list, organizations must demonstrate competency in all four focus areas. This year, approximately 39 percent of U.S. hospitals — 2,158 hospitals represented in 698 completed questionnaires — participated in the survey. The 2017 Most Wired survey was conducted in cooperation with the American Hospital Association and Clearwater Compliance, L.L.C.