For the fifth year in a row, El Camino Hospital in Mountain View has been named one of the "100 Most Wired Hospitals" in a survey published in the July issue of Healthcare and Health Networks magazine.
The list is based on the Most Wired Survey and Benchmarking Study, a joint project of the magazine, IDX Systems Corp. and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives. This year, the study compiled 482 surveys representing 1,298 hospitals.
"As the hospital of Silicon Valley, El Camino Hospital has set a goal to become the premier illustration of how automation can be leveraged to support caregiving by physicians and nurses," said Ken Graham, CEO of El Camino Hospital. "Although we are proud to have been recognized for our achievements, we are aiming still higher. New technology will be focused on achieving an even higher level of quality and accuracy of care."
According to the magazine, the top 100 hospitals recognized in the study have better outcomes than other hospitals on four key measures: mortality rates, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's patient safety measures, the Joint Commission's Core Measures and average length of stay. However, the publication makes clear that there is no proof of a direct, causal relationship between information technology and those better results. Rather, it states that "the research shows that, in general, hospitals with good quality results are also dedicated to information technology."
Graham said El Camino Hospital applies its wired and wireless technology to the following processes and needs.
• Computers on wheels, a system using wireless technology, is used at the point of registration to help improve patient flow. The Vocera wireless voice communication system allows quicker communication among staff for more efficient bed management. The system is integrated with the nurse call system for quicker response by the nurse.
• Wireless technology at the bedside used to take patients' vital signs is sent to an advanced clinical information system. The system will automatically alert staff if vital signs fall outside guidelines.
• The hospital's wired network has allowed nearly 100 percent computerized physician order entry for medication orders, consequently helping to reduce the possibility of errors. Orders are verified in real time and automatically sent to dispensing machines throughout the facility for accurate and timely medication administration and management.
• Real-time enterprise allows clinicians to access electronic images inside or outside the institution.
• An offsite disaster recovery center with wired networks allows reliably replicate clinical and financial information for safe storage in case of a local or regional disaster.
"Implementing an even more sophisticated approach to information technology is critically important to our mission of quality care," Graham said. "It's an integral element of our strategic efforts for continual improvement in the quality of health care we deliver and the patient experience we offer."
For more information, visit www.elcaminohospital.org or call the El Camino Health Line at (800) 216-5556.