Wires, wireless, Most Wired, oh my

How many wires does it take to make a hospital wireless . . . or to make a hospital one of the “Most Wired” in the nation? We don’t know, but it’s a lot. Thanks to Health Care Information Systems (HCIS), UI Hospitals and Clinics has been named one of the “Most Wired” now for eight years running.

Lee Carmen, associate vice president for information systems, stands in the HCIS Data Center in General Hospital.

What makes UI Hospitals and Clinics one of the Most Wired? Here are a few examples that HCIS has implemented or expanded upon in the last year:

  • An extensive Distributed Antenna System boosts cell phone reception throughout the hospital.
  • The Real-Time Location System (RTLS) uses tags placed on items, patients, or staff members to track their location. A few examples:
    • RTLS tags are placed on infants to prevent infant abductions.
    • When a staff member in UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital enters a patient room, that staff member’s name and photo displays on the patient’s monitor.
    • Staff duress buttons: This is a safety measure, in which certain staff (particularly those who work late nights or in isolated areas) wear a button on their badge to alert Safety and Security of a personal threat to their safety.
    • Tags are placed on costly hospital equipment to track their location, such as wheelchairs, infusion pumps, bed warmers, various endoscopes and hospital beds.
  • OneView: Patients in the children’s hospital have interactive touch screens running a new patient education/entertainment system that is linked to Epic. They allow patients and families to see the care team, order meals, set care goals, rate their pain, learn about their condition or disease, watch movies and TV, and play games.
  • FastPass system: Instead of manually logging in and out of clinical workstations all the time, providers simply tap their badge to a sensor at the computer to rapidly login in to Epic and resume working in the system.
  • HCIS also supports telehealth initiatives, like the Virtual Hospitalist Service. UI Health Care providers do secure video rounding with rural hospitals—helping keep more patients in their community hospital.

“Information technology makes the delivery of health care safer, more secure, and more efficient,” says Lee Carmen, associate vice president for information systems. “We’re fortunate that UI Health Care leadership recognizes this, and they’ve continued to support these advancements in technology.”

National survey results

The Most Wired award is part of the national Health Care’s Most Wired® survey, released July 10 by the American Hospital Association’s Health Forum. This year’s survey included nearly 40 percent of all U.S. hospitals.

The survey results show:

  • 76 percent of hospitals offer secure messaging with clinicians on mobile devices.
  • 68 percent simplify prescription renewals by letting patients make requests on mobile devices.
  • Nearly half of the hospitals are using telehealth to provide behavioral health services.
  • 40 percent offer virtual physician visits.
  • 97 percent use intrusion detection systems.
  • Nearly 90 percent run targeted phishing exercises to teach employees to question suspicious emails.
  • Three-quarters use sophisticated analytics such as predictive modeling and data to improve decision-making.
  • Nearly 70 percent interface electronic health record data with population health tools for care management.
  • More than 70 percent are providing data analytic tools training to physicians and nurses.
  • Nearly 40 percent deliver quality metrics to physicians at the point-of-care.
  • 32 percent have tools for real-time patient identification and tracking for value-based care conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.