Danbury, Norwalk hospitals noted for tech savvy

By Reece Alvarez

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Two hospitals in the Western Connecticut Health Network, Danbury and Norwalk, have made Hospitals & Health Networks‘ 2016 list of the “most wired” hospitals and health systems in an annual survey recently released by the American Hospital Association’s Health Forum.

The survey of more than 680 participants, representing more than 2,146 hospitals, examined how organizations are leveraging information technology to enhance performance for value-based health care in the areas of infrastructure, business and administrative management, quality and safety, and clinical integration, according to a release from Norwalk Hospital.

According to the survey, hospitals are using technology to provide increased access to care and improved data management for patients as well as protecting themselves from cyberattacks. Here are some highlights of how technology is used:

  •  53 percent interface electronic health record data with population health tools;
  • 62 percent stratify patients according to risk;
  • 51 percent aggregate data from patient encounters to create a community health record;
  •  68 percent accept patient-generated data through a patient portal;
  • 26 percent of Most Wired organizations offer e-visits through a mobile application;
  • 81 percent of Most Wired hospitals use mobile applications to notify clinicians of sudden changes in patient conditions and correlated events such as falls or respiratory distress or failure;
  • 61 percent use social media to provide support groups.

“Hospitals are breaking out of their traditional four walls and providing care where and when patients need it,” said Rick Pollack, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association. “These Most Wired hospitals exemplify this transformation by harnessing technology, engaging patients and offering services remotely. And, removing policy and other barriers to telehealth will allow even faster adoption of these amazing technologies.”

According to Hospital & Health Networks, cybersecurity technology is also a major focus for hospitals following a spate of high-profile ransomware attacks this year as hackers infiltrated hospital networks and held patient data for ransom. More than 90 percent of surveyed hospitals use intrusion detection systems, privacy audit systems and security incident event management to detect patient privacy breaches, monitor for malicious activities and produce real-time analysis of security alerts and 84 percent conduct a third-party security audit annually to ensure that guidelines are followed.

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