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Harris Health System Achieves “Most Wired” for Sixth Consecutive Year

For the sixth year in a row, Harris Health System earned the “Most Wired” recognition in the 18th annual survey and benchmarking study conducted by the American Hospital Association’s Health Forum and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives. This year, Harris Health is one of 17 hospitals in Texas and four other healthcare systems in greater Houston to be recognized as Most Wired.

“We continue to leverage information technology to improve the health of our patients, our community and continuously improve our operating efficiency and effectiveness. Maintaining the Most Wired designation is an important validation of our accomplishments,” says Tim Tindle, executive vice president and chief information officer, Harris Health System. “Clinicians and staff have secure access to our patient’s complete medical record anytime and anywhere, including those records retrieved from other healthcare providers across the country. This allows our medical staff to use the all-inclusive record to provide patients the most appropriate treatment and optimal outcomes.”

According to the survey, hospitals are taking more aggressive privacy and security measures to protect and safeguard patient data. Top growth areas in security among this year’s Most Wired include privacy audit systems, provisioning systems, data loss prevention, single sign-on and identity management.

“Our entire information technology staff responds to the needs of our clinical teams by operating servers, building networks, training users and answering technical calls so clinicians can always focus on patient care,” Tindle adds.

Most Wired hospitals are utilizing population health management tools and partnering with other healthcare providers to share critical clinical information used in analyzing interventions aimed at key patient groups, such as those with diabetes. To get patients the right care, hospitals are using predictive modeling to eliminate preventable problems.
• 53 percent interface electronic health record data with population health tools.
• 62 percent stratify patients according to risk.
• 51 percent aggregate data from patient encounters to create a community health record.

The results of the 2016 Most Wired Survey conducted between Jan. 15 and March 15 appear in the July issue of Hospitals & Health Networks, the flagship publication of the American Hospital Association. The survey of 680 participants, representing an estimated 2,146 hospitals—more than 34 percent of all hospitals in the U.S.—examines how organizations are leveraging information technology to improve performance for value-based healthcare in the areas of infrastructure, business and administrative management; quality and safety; and clinical integration.