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Published on July 14, 2014

Altru Health System Named 2014 Most Wired - Advanced Category

Grand Forks, N.D –Altru Health System is the only North Dakota hospital named to the 2014 Most Wired in the Advanced Organization category according to the results of this year’s Most Wired Survey released in the latest issue of Hospitals & Health Networks magazine.

Of the 680 survey participants, Altru was one of the 20 organizations that exceeded core development in all four focus areas making it an Advanced Organization. This puts Altru in the top 2.9 percent of the surveyed participants.

“At Altru, our focus is on providing the best care for our patients,” said Mark Waind, administrative director of Altru’s Information Services. “We give our providers the best tools and they give the best care to our patients. We’ve worked hard to improve the technology we use at Altru. Receiving this designation affirms our commitment to improving the health care experience for our patients.”

Aspects contributing to Altru’s Most Advanced Wired Organization designation:

  • Use of standardized evidence-based electronic order sets
  • Improved interoperability with North Dakota State Health Information Network and other key stake holders in the region
  • Successful extension and implementation of Electronic Medical Record systems in seven critical access hospitals in the region
  • Early adoption of electronic disease registries
  • First real-time bi-directional vaccination interface in the region
  • Improved Population Health Capabilities: Our providers receive best practice alerts in real-time during their patient visits.
  • Utilization of Patient Health Maintenance Reminders for procedures such as colorectal screening, mammography, etc.

According to the 16th annual Health Care’s Most Wired Survey, 67 percent of Most Wired hospitals share critical patient information electronically with specialists and other care providers. Most Wired hospitals, those that meet a set of rigorous criteria across four operational categories: Infrastructure, Business and Administrative Management, Clinical Quality and Safety, (Hospital Inpatient/Outpatient) and Clinical Integration, (Ambulatory/Physician/Community) have made tremendous gains by using IT to reduce the likelihood of medical errors. Among Most Wired hospitals, 81 percent of medications are matched to the patient, nurse and order via bar code technology at the bedside.

"Hospital leaders should be commended for the hard work they've done under an unrealistic time frame,” said Russell P. Branzell, president and CEO of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, referring to federal requirements that health care providers adopt and meaningfully use a certified electronic health records.

Among some of the key findings related to improving quality and patient safety:

  • Nurses and physicians share best practices for patient safety and use checklists at more than 90 percent of Most Wired organizations.
  • To help consumers make better decisions about their health care, standard measures of individual hospital quality performance are reported and publicly available. Nearly half of Most Wired organizations share this information on their websites and 86 percent provide quality scores to clinical leaders on a regular basis as part of their performance improvement initiatives.

About Altru Health System

Altru Health System is a community-owned, integrated system with an acute care hospital, a specialty hospital, more than a dozen clinics in Grand Forks and the region, a large home care network, and a congregate living facility. It employs more than 200 physicians and 4,000 staff and has annual net operating revenue of more than $450 million.  As the first member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, Altru’s providers have access to clinically integrated tools extending Mayo Clinic’s knowledge and expertise to patients.

About the Most Wired Survey

The 2014 Most Wired Survey is conducted in cooperation with McKesson Corp., AT&T, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, and the American Hospital Association. The July edition of Hospitals & Health Networks magazine can be found at www.hhnmag.com.