GRUNDY CENTER, Iowa Grundy County Memorial Hospital (GCMH) has been recognized for its exemplary use of Health Information Technology. The hospital has been named a 2014 'Most Wired' hospital by the American Hospital Association's Hospitals & Health Networks, one of just two Iowa hospitals recognized in the Small and Rural hospital category.
The 'Most Wired' hospitals share the distinction of having applied technology such as electronic health records and shared health information to improve patient safety and help patients make the most informed decisions about treatment.
GCMH Information Technology Manager Nick Betts says the distinction as a 'Most Wired' hospital demonstrates how GCMH has effectively used advanced technology to improve patient safety and staff efficiency. "GCMH has some of the best technology in the country. It provides our nurses and doctors the right tools to make the best decisions on behalf of our patients. Making sure that clinicians have the right information at the right time allows them to better care for our patients and residents," says Betts.
The hospital is an affiliate of Iowa's largest health network, UnityPoint Health, and was one of the first of the rural hospitals in the system to adopt Electronic Health Records in 2012. "The culture of the hospital is to embrace innovation. Leadership has consistently supported the use of technology across the board, and putting advanced technology to work not only for patient care but employee efficiency and securing data is what sets GCMH apart from other rural hospitals," Betts remarks.
The 'Most Wired' national survey showed that hospitals successfully using technology are able to share best practices for patient safety, and utilize electronic checklists routinely when caring for patients. For instance, at Grundy County Memorial Hospital the likelihood of medication errors has been reduced through matching medications to each patient using bar code technology. Because of the hospital's electronic health record, patients may access their health information via secure technology, allowing for increased patient engagement. 'Most Wired' hospitals met a rigorous set of standards across four operational categories in order to be recognized, including clinical integration and clinical quality and safety.
The American Hospital Association is a nonprofit association of health care provider organizations and is a national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, and other providers of health care. Its 'Most Wired' survey was conducted early in 2014, garnering information about Information Technology initiatives from hospitals across the nation. In Iowa, the UnityPoint Health system was recognized as 'Most Wired' in addition to nine other Iowa hospitals and health systems. Grundy County Memorial Hospital and Broadlawns Medical Center in Des Moines were the only Iowa hospitals recognized in the 'small and rural' category.