Most Wired 2017 Hospitals Lead in Telehealth, Remote Monitoring

Original article found here.

July 13, 2017 - The 2017 AHA Most Wired Hospitals survey revealed that a strong reliance on telehealth, remote monitoring, and mHealth tools is key for becoming a top health IT performer.

The survey, representing approximately 39 percent of all hospitals in the US, analyzed how organizations leveraged mHealth and health IT to improve performance for value-based health care.

“The Most Wired hospitals are using every available technology option to create more ways to reach their patients in order to provide access to care,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. “They are transforming care delivery, investing in new delivery models in order to improve quality, provide access and control costs.”

Results of the survey found that a majority of the Most Wired hospitals offer services that help to monitor patients and record their health data from remote locations. Just under half of connected hospitals used telehealth and virtual physician services in some form.

Major findings include:

  • 76 percent offer secure messaging with clinicians on mobile devices
  • 74 percent use secure e-mails for patients and families that require ongoing monitoring at home, as a way to keep in touch with the care team
  • 68 percent simplify prescription renewals by letting patients make requests on mobile devices.
  • 62 percent add data reported by patients to the electronic health record to get a better picture of what is going on with the patient
  • Close to 50 percent of the hospitals are using telehealth to provide behavioral health services to more patients
  • 40 percent of the Most Wired Hospitals offer virtual physician visits
  • More than 40 percent provide real-time care management services to patients at home for diabetes and congestive heart failure

Standout examples from the Most Wired list include hospitals incorporating mHealth apps, video physician visits, wireless monitoring of patients, and remote telemedicine pilots.

The Edward-Elmhurst Health System based out of Illinois credited their achievement to their suite of mobile health information applications. Patients can use their version of the Epic MyChart app, as well as an online patient portal, to communicate with providers and manage appointments.

Consumers can also use MyChart and online patient portals to access test results, request prescription renewals, and schedule lab tests, heart scans, mammograms, and similar procedures.

These patients in the Edward-Elmhurst care network can receive online consultations for addiction, anxiety, breast cancer, colon cancer, depression, diabetes, heart disease, lung cancer, sleep disorders and stroke.

Edward-Elmhurst also offers remote monitoring services through implanted devices, and plans to roll out video visits to providers as well as price shopping tools for healthcare services.

Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles (CHLA) implemented several patient and provider facing technologies that improve access to care and patient connectivity, as well.

In 2015, CHLA launched patient portals that give parents quicker access to their child’s medical records and piloted remote telemedicine consults in hospital clinics such as their Vision Center.

CHLA also implemented barcode verification to electronically ensure that children received the right amount of medication. The hospital also plans to expand this system by 2017 and 2018 to include blood transfusion, milk administration, and lab specimen identification.

Leaders at CHLA credited their inclusion on the Most Wired list to their ability to use technology to meet value-based benchmarks across the healthcare industry.

"Most Wired hospitals are recognized not only because they hit industry benchmarks, but more importantly because they stay ahead of the curve for technology adoption and innovation," says CHLA President and CEO Paul S. Viviano.

"This recognition is a testament to the unceasing work of our Information Services team, a confirmation of the technological roadmap we’ve laid out for the future of our health system, and an affirmation to our patients and families that their medical records are secure and complete across our entire continuum of care."

The Most Wired hospitals are also relying big data analytics and machine learning to protect their digital assets and make informed organizational decisions both clinically and financially.

The findings from the Most Wired list indicate that healthcare organizations are steadily moving from simply acquiring technology to using mHealth and digital healthcare tools to their fullest capabilities.