St. Luke's Earns Prestigious 'Most Wired' Recognition Through Relentless Innovation

ANN ARBOR, MI, Nov. 2, 2018 – St. Luke’s University Health Network has been recognized as one of the ‘Most Wired’ healthcare systems nationally by The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME).

“Our goal at St. Luke’s is to use technology to make patient access easy and timely. Our mantra is ‘easy access now.’ This, coupled with our drive to be relentlessly innovative, helps to explain what makes St. Luke’s a ‘Most Wired’ healthcare provider,” said Chad Brisendine, St. Luke’s Chief Information Officer.

Hospitals and health systems at the forefront of using healthcare IT to improve the delivery of care have maximized the benefits of foundational technologies and are embracing new technologies that support population management and value-based care. The most successful organizations not only adopt technology but apply it strategically to achieve great outcomes, according to CHIME’s HealthCare’s Most Wired survey and analysis.

HealthCare’s Most Wired, now in its 20th year, traditionally tracked the adoption of healthcare IT in hospitals and health systems. CHIME took over the Most Wired program and revised the survey questions and methodology this year to highlight strengths and gaps in the industry. The goal is to identify best practices and promote the strategic use of healthcare IT to elevate the health and care of communities around the world.

CHIME designated St. Luke’s for 2018 Most Wired recognition at the CHIME Fall CIO Forum in San Diego.

Brisendine added, “St. Luke’s leadership understands and appreciates the role of transformational technology in modern health care, and I am grateful for our leadership’s continued support of the Information Technology team’s ambition to integrate new technology that improves the patient experience.”

The report found two key areas that emerged in 2018: the use of foundational technologies such as integration, interoperability, security and disaster recovery; and the use of transformational technologies to support population health management, value-based care, patient engagement and telehealth. These foundational pieces need to be in place for an organization to leverage tools to effectively transform healthcare. 

“Healthcare IT has the potential to revolutionize care around the world, but to meet that potential it must be used strategically,” said Russell Branzell, president and CEO of CHIME. “The technology is important, but leadership and a strategic vision are equally important. The diversity of the organizations that earned Most Wired status this year shows quality care can be achieved almost anywhere under the right leadership. By sharing the best practices in Most Wired, we hope quality care will one day be available everywhere.”      

The report findings fell into the two categories of foundational and transformational technologies. Highlights under foundational technologies include:

  • 94 percent of participants used integrated clinical application suites and 86 percent used remote published applications.
  • About three-fourths send blood glucose, bedside blood pressure, bedside pulse oximetry and EKG data directly to the EHR but only 25 percent send data directly from IV pumps and 10 percent from in-bed scale.
  • Almost all physicians have electronic access to the EHR and other resources but only half have access to these resources using mobile applications.
  • 94 percent can consume data in some form from a Continuity of Care Document (CCD) and 97 percent can contribute to a CCD but only 60 percent can consume discrete data with a home health agency or a skilled nursing home.
  • Only 29 percent report having a comprehensive security program in place.
  • Nearly all use firewalls, dispose devices containing personal health information properly and secure mobile devices with passwords but many lack other fundamental authentication and safeguarding procedures.  
  • 68 percent believe they could restore operations within 24 hours if a disaster caused complete loss of their primary data center.

Highlights under transformational technologies include:

  • 76 percent can perform retroactive analysis for care improvement and cost reduction but only 43 percent can manage bundled payments or do real-time identification and tracking of value-based care conditions.
  • 57 percent use clinical and billing data as well as health information exchanges to identify gaps in care.
  • Most provider organizations’ population health strategies target diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure, heart disease and hypertension but few target behavioral health, sickle cell anemia and end-stage renal disease.
  • For patient engagement, 81 percent report capabilities like email and more than half offer satisfaction surveys; 67 percent offer secure email exchange with a member of home care team and 38 percent offer virtual patient visits.
  • Most offer conveniences such as requesting a prescription renewal or paying a bill through a patient portal; 90 percent offer a mobile patient portal; and nearly all offer access to test results and visit summaries. 
  • 89 percent offer some form of telehealth service, but few offer focused telehealth services such as genetic counseling or rehabilitation.
  • About half use ePrescribing for controlled substances and 48 percent have their ePrescribing module connected to a prescription drug monitoring program.

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About CHIME

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is an executive organization dedicated to serving chief information officers (CIOs), chief medical information officers (CMIOs), chief nursing information officers (CNIOs) and other senior healthcare IT leaders. With more than 2,700 members in 51 countries and over 150 healthcare IT business partners and professional services firms, CHIME provides a highly interactive, trusted environment enabling senior professional and industry leaders to collaborate; exchange best practices; address professional development needs; and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and healthcare in the communities they serve. For more information, please visit chimecentral.org.

About St. Luke’s

Founded in 1872, St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN) is a fully integrated, regional, non-profit network of more than 14,000 employees providing services at 10 hospitals and more than 300 outpatient sites.  With annual net revenue greater than $2 billion, the Network’s service area includes 10 counties: Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Montgomery, Monroe and Schuylkill counties in Pennsylvania and Warren and Hunterdon counties in New Jersey.  Dedicated to advancing medical education, St. Luke’s is the preeminent teaching hospital in central-eastern Pennsylvania.  In partnership with Temple University, St. Luke’s created the region’s first and only regional medical school campus.  It also operates the nation’s longest continuously operating School of Nursing, established in 1884, and 28 fully accredited graduate medical educational programs with 226 residents and fellows.  St. Luke’s is the only health care system in central-eastern Pennsylvania to earn Medicare’s five-star rating (the highest) for quality, efficiency and patient satisfaction.  St. Luke’s has earned the 100 Top Major Teaching Hospital designation from IBM Watson Health (formerly Truven Health Analytics) repeatedly – six times total and four years in a row including 2018.  It has also been cited by IBM Watson Health as a 50 Top Cardiovascular Program.  Utilizing the EPIC electronic medical record (EMR) system for both inpatient and outpatient services, the Network is a multi-year recipient of the Most Wired award recognizing the breadth of the SLUHN’s information technology applications such as telehealth, online scheduling and online pricing information.  St. Luke’s is also recognized as one of the state’s lowest cost providers.