Genesis Health System "Most Wired" For Ninth Straight Year

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

The health professionals providing patient care at Genesis Medical Center, Illini Campus have education, experience, critical-thinking skills and one more important tool.

That additional tool is a laptop and software that allows the provider to enter care instructions, medication orders and patient history into a record that can be shared between providers with limited use of handwriting and paper.

Handwriting can be difficult to read and paper can be misplaced. Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE) reduces both of those concerns to help Genesis provide a safer patient experience with quality outcomes.

Now fully implemented at Illini Campus and in the process of being fully  implemented throughout in Genesis Health System, CPOE is one of the advancements that helped Genesis be recognized as one the nation's 100 Most Wired hospitals and health systems for the ninth consecutive year.

The 100 Most Wired are named by Hospitals & Health Networks magazine based on the use of information technology to accomplish key goals, including safety and quality objectives.

Genesis Health System is the only Iowa hospital or health system to be recognized as a 100 Most Wired for nine consecutive years.

“Genesis is well ahead of most health care organizations in the country in its use of technology to benefit our patients,'' said Rob Frieden, Vice President of Information Services, Genesis Health System.  “The technology

implemented by Genesis in recent years has resulted in fewer medical errors, improved safety and quality of care for patients and has created efficiencies to help us control costs.

"Genesis is moving toward a seamless approach to medical records, which makes health care safer, more convenient and less stressful for patients.''

A highlight within Genesis over the past year is that all physicians admitting patients at Genesis Medical Center, Illini Campus now are using CPOE.

"Illini is the test tube baby for Genesis when it comes to CPOE, but we're getting better and the process is getting easier.  We're making reasonable progress,'' said Dr. Peter Metcalf, a pediatrician with Genesis Health Group who is also Vice President for Medical Affairs at Illini. "It has taken a long time, and it is quite a task but over the long-term, the benefits will be worthwhile.

"We will eliminate all paper records, will move away entirely from handwritten orders and we will be sharing patients records between providers both within Genesis and outside of Genesis.  It is a major undertaking that will require years of refining, but every health care organization in the country is headed in the same direction.''

Physicians within Genesis Health Group are also advancing toward 100 percent use of electronic medical records.  By using electronic records, patient records are more easily shared across the system.

For the past 14 years, the Most Wired Survey and

Benchmarking Study has been conducted annually by Hospitals & Health Networks.  The benchmarking studies ask hospitals to report their uses of information technology in five areas: safety and quality, customer service, business process, workforce, and public health and safety.  Every hospital in the U.S. is invited to participate.

The nation’s 100 Most Wired hospitals and health systems demonstrate better outcomes in patient safety, risk-adjusted mortality rates and other key quality measures through the use of information technology, according to analysis.

"Our focus is always patient safety and quality of care,'' Frieden said.  "Will the new technology make our patients safer? Will it provide them with a better patient experience?

"And finally, will the new technology also create efficiencies for our caregivers and staff?''

Frieden said one of the goals within the system is to continue implementing information and medical technology throughout the system, including at Mercer County Hospital in Aledo, Ill., and Jackson County Regional Health Center in Maquoketa, Iowa.  

The 100 Most Wired winners are featured in the Summer edition of Hospitals and Health Networks (H&HN) magazine.