UI Hospital ranked among ‘most wired’

University of Illinois Hospital and Healh Sciences System LogoThe University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System has been named among the top “Most Wired Hospitals” for the sixth year by Hospitals & Health Networks magazine.

The survey sets specific requirements in each of four areas to achieve “Most Wired” status: infrastructure, business and administrative management, clinical quality and safety, and clinical integration.

“We are honored to be among a prestigious group of ‘Most Wired’ hospitals,” said Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia, vice president for health affairs at the University of Illinois. “Our dedication to advancing health care technology is critical to our overall mission — to provide innovative research, personalized health, address health disparities, and educate the next generation of researchers and health providers from diverse backgrounds.”

The health system’s Electronic Medical Record links the hospital, outpatient centers, satellite facilities, academic offices and laboratories to medical data on more than 2 million patients and is accessible from personal computers located throughout the institution and off site.

The EMR, implemented in 1997, provides an automated process for all aspects of medication reconciliation ranging from the practice of e-prescribing, to the creation of a single medication list of drug information. This workflow is made even more powerful by a wide range of other clinical information, such as vital signs, drug and allergy interaction checking, and the charting of medication administration.

Technology allows for the creation of an electronic process for recording the complete continuum of care with the use of tools such as automated medication dispensing cabinets, laboratory results, scanning of clinical documentation and on-line imaging.

UIC also employs information technology for business processes, customer service, safety and quality, workforce and human resource issues, and public health and safety.

The hospital recently met the electronic health records requirements defined by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to qualify for incentive payments. Other recent accomplishments include improving operational efficiency of the operating room, implementing e-Prescribing and e-Renewal of prescription medications with retail pharmacies, and upgrading the wireless infrastructure within the hospital and clinics.

The Most Wired Hospitals recognition “represents an organizational-wide achievement,” says Audrius Polikaitis, chief information officer at the hospital. The recognition not only acknowledges the information systems staff, he said, but “acknowledges the clinicians and staff who have adopted the technology and made it a part of their daily work practices.”

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