WASHINGTON, July 19, 2011 -- U.S. News Media Group today announced a list of the Most Connected Hospitals. The new list identifies U.S. News-ranked hospitals that are significantly advanced in the adoption of electronic medical record systems.
We live in a digital age. We use electronic systems to connect with others, to entertain ourselves, and to compare the quality of myriad goods and services, including hospital care.
Yet inside the walls of many hospitals, doctors and nurses still rely on reams of paper charts and antiquated systems to track patient health, order tests and treatments, and perform other essential duties. While many of these professionals provide quality medical care, they do so without the use of a suite of technologies broadly known as electronic medical records, or EMR's, that could make patients safer and their care more efficient.
By contrast, a relatively small number of hospitals have readily embraced EMR's and use them to connect healthcare providers to one another and to the information each needs to do his or her job.
An even smaller subset of those hospitals also succeed in delivering the superior care that U.S. News recognizes in its Best Hospitals. U.S. News developed Most Connected Hospitals to highlight that group of institutions, which are both digitally forward and clinically excellent.
We began with a list of all institutions we either have ranked among the best in the nation or have identified as high-performing in at least one medical specialty in the 2011-12 Best Hospitals and Best Children's Hospitals.
We compared that roster of top hospitals to a list of institutions publicly identified as early adopters of EMR technology by HIMSS Analytics, a division of the not-for-profit Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society. Through surveys of hospital executives and, in some cases, site visits, HIMSS Analytics evaluates how far hospitals have progressed toward fully incorporating health information technology into every aspect of clinical care. A Stage 7 hospital has gone all the way. A Stage 0 hospital has yet to start.
At Stage 7, explains John Hoyt, Executive Vice President of HIMSS Analytics, a hospital "no longer uses paper charts to deliver and manage patient care," and the system has the ability to analyze the quality of such care, leading to improvement.
U.S. News defines a hospital as Most Connected if that hospital or if a major unit, such as a children's hospital within the larger institution, has met twin standards: achieving Stage 6 or 7 of EMR adoption and earning either a national Best Hospital or Best Children's Hospital ranking or a high-performing designation in one or more medical specialties.
In an exclusive arrangement, this inaugural list of Most Connected Hospitals is being sponsored by Dell.
About the U.S. News Media Group
The U.S. News Media Group is a multi-platform publisher of news and analysis, which includes the digital-only U.S. News Weekly magazine, usnews.com, and rankingsandreviews.com. Focusing on Health, Money, Education, Travel, Cars, and Public Service/Opinion, the U.S. News Media Group has earned a reputation as the leading provider of service news and information that improves the quality of life of its readers. The U.S. News Media Group's signature franchise includes its News You Can Use® brand of journalism and its "Best" series of consumer guides that include rankings of colleges, graduate schools, hospitals, mutual funds, health plans, and more.
Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) is among the leading providers of IT services to the healthcare industry providing providers, payers and pharmaceutical companies with leading business and technology solutions that extend from the point of care to the data center. Dell's integrated business process and technology solutions help hospitals maximize efficiency and reimbursement; achieve clinical excellence and create communities of practice to more efficiently deliver patient care.