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  • Berkshire Health Systems Named Among Healthcare’s Most Wired


    PITTSFIELD — The American Hospital Assoc. (AHA) Health Forum announced that Berkshire Health Systems has been named among Healthcare’s Most Wired for 2017.

    Technology is making it easier for patients and providers to interact, thus improving communication, safety, and patient-provider relationships. New tools are helping patients become more actively involved in their care and maintain their health, according to results of the 19th annual Health Care’s Most Wired survey, released by the AHA Health Forum.

    According to the survey, Most Wired hospitals like Berkshire Medical Center and Fairview Hospital are using smartphones, telehealth, and remote monitoring to create more ways for patients to access healthcare services and capture health information. This year’s results show that:

    • 76% offer secure messaging with clinicians on mobile devices;

    • When patients need ongoing monitoring at home, 74% use secure e-mails for patients and families to keep in touch with the care team;

    • 68% simplify prescription renewals by letting patients make requests on mobile devices;

    • 62% add data reported by patients to the electronic health record to get a better picture of what is going on with the patient;

    • Nearly half of the hospitals are using telehealth to provide behavioral-health services to more patients;

    • 40% offer virtual physician visits; and

    • More than 40% provide real-time care-management services to patients at home for diabetes and congestive heart failure.

    “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.”

    Innovation in patient care embraces emerging technologies and underscores the need for secure patient-information exchange. Hospitals have increased their use of sophisticated IT monitoring systems to detect patient privacy breaches, monitor for malicious activities or policy violations and produce real-time analysis of security alerts. Specifically, 97% use intrusion-detection systems, 96% perform data-access audits, and nearly 90% run targeted phishing exercises to teach employees to question suspicious emails.

    Most Wired hospitals are transforming care delivery with knowledge gained from data and analytics. They are investing in analytics to support new delivery models and effective decision making and training clinicians on how to use analytics to improve quality, provide access, and control costs. For example:

    • 82% analyze retrospective clinical and administrative data to identify areas for improving quality and reducing the cost of care;

    • Three-quarters use sophisticated analytics such as predictive modeling and data to improve decision making;

    • Nearly 70% interface electronic-health-record data with population-health tools for care management;

    • More than 70% are providing training in data-analytic tools to physicians and nurses;

    • 45% initiate a patient pathway using health IT to follow a care plan;

    • Nearly 40% deliver quality metrics to physicians at the point of care; and

    • 32% have tools for real-time patient identification and tracking for value-based care conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

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