UC Davis Medical Center has again earned “Most Wired” designation as one of the nation’s top health leaders in information technology. The 2015 award is based on a national survey conducted by Hospitals & Health Networks.
The annual assessment looks at how hospitals use information technology to complement their patient safety and quality-of-care priorities as well as their public health, administrative processes and workforce decisions. For this year’s awards, 741 hospitals and health systems participated in the survey, representing more than 2,200 hospitals, which is nearly 40 percent of all U.S. hospitals.
This year’s designation follows numerous other IT awards honoring the university’s clinical and research enterprise on its Sacramento campus, including one from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). It recognized UC Davis in 2013 with a Davies Enterprise Awards of Excellence for distinction in the use of the electronic health record (EHR) and associated technologies to improve clinical quality and cost efficiency.
“Once the core elements of our EHR were fully deployed and care teams could enjoy all the clinical care benefits, everyone began thinking very differently about clinical content and clinical processes,” said Michael Minear, chief information officer for UC Davis Health System. “The new perspectives and approaches that are now possible because we are such a digitally connected institution are truly driving improvements in clinical quality and cost reduction. There is no question that our ‘Most Wired’ attributes have enabled significant improvements in care delivery and care quality that simply were not possible in the old, fragmented days of paper-based care processes.”
With a fully deployed EHR used to support and provide all types of clinical care, UC Davis Health System has launched a number of innovative quality-improvement programs that were not possible prior to the arrival of modern EHR software. One example was a special project to address sepsis, a serious complication from infection that requires hospitalization for than a million people a year. A multi-disciplinary group at the medical center created a new clinical workflow and changes in the electronic health records system – based on evidence-based best clinical practices – that enabled clinicians to better control sepsis infections.
UC Davis has realized significant returns on its clinical-technology investments in the form of enhanced revenues and reduced costs. It invested approximately $160 million in capital costs from 2002 to 2013, and saved an estimated $63 million in hard dollars during that time period. In addition, the university’s IT leaders say there have been other savings gained and costs avoided over the past few years, and they anticipate similar benefits in the coming years because UC Davis’ EHR and related technologies will enable the health system to avoid potential penalties related to the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ “meaningful use” guidelines.
“Our ‘Most Wired” designation reflects the culture at UC Davis in which new technologies and practices are all designed around the primary goal of supporting the very best in patient care.” said Minear. “Our organization, for example, was an early adopter in the secondary use of electronic health records to support clinical research and quality care improvements. Much of that work has leveraged a now fully deployed EHR that integrates patient data across the continuum of care, improves efficiencies in clinical workflows, deploys evidence-based best practices into clinical care and shares important data with other community care providers.”
UC Davis is one of just 14 institutions in California to receive the Most Wired award this year. The honor will be formally presented at the annual Health Forum and American Hospital Association Leadership Summit later this month in San Francisco.
Background on Most Wired
Hospitals & Health Networks magazine, a publication of the American Hospital Association, compiles its “Most Wired” list annually using survey results from hospitals and health systems throughout the United States. Participating organizations are surveyed for use of IT in four focus areas: Infrastructure; Business and Administrative Management; Clinical Quality and Safety (inpatient/outpatient hospital); and Care Continuum (ambulatory/physician/community). Organizations whose responses reflect core development across all four areas are designated as “Most Wired.” A full list of award winners can be found online at www.hhnmag.com.