July 29, 2009
UC San Diego Medical Center Receives “Most Wired” and “Most Wireless” Awards
For the fourth consecutive year, UC San Diego Medical Center was named one of the nation’s 100 “Most Wired” and, for the third time, one of the top 25 “Most Wireless” by Hospitals and Health Networks, a publication of the American Hospital Association. The list credits the top-ranking hospitals that have successfully adopted information technology to improve patient outcomes, streamline clinical practices and decrease the occurrence of medical errors.
The UC San Diego Medical Center designations appear in the publication’s eleventh annual survey and benchmarking study. Both awards recognize that, when compared to nearly 5,000 hospitals in the country, UC San Diego Medical Center has an advanced information technology infrastructure that efficiently uses multiple technologies to connect clinical systems. The results are enhanced patient experience and the quality of care.
“To be recognized once is an honor. However, to be on the list repeatedly is a real distinction and a tribute to UC San Diego Medical Center’s commitment to using the latest technology in order to improve patient safety as well as better serve our patients,” said Mona Sonnenshein, chief operating officer, UC San Diego Medical Center.
Two recent information technology advances at UCSD Medical Center, voice recognition software and an advanced oncology management system, were instrumental in achieving the goal of using electronic health records in all the clinics and units.
Utilizing voice recognition software enables UC San Diego Medical Center health care providers to dictate information directly into a patient’s medical record at multiple points of care, instantaneously see the dictation and have it accessible for the rest of the care team.
Implementing an advanced oncology management system allows UC San Diego Medical Center health care providers to use an electronic order entry and online management system for chemotherapy and infusions. It also allows care providers to outline treatment plans, and for pharmacy and nursing staff to review all chemotherapy orders in advance.
“We are able to provide the highest level of patient safety and quality outcomes for the care we provide for our patients every day,” said Ed Babakanian, chief information officer, UC San Diego Medical Center. “The ‘Most Wired’ and ‘Most Wireless’ awards acknowledge that the process works here. We have integrated technology throughout the system in order improve the accuracy of patient care.”
“What is most important is how technology is used, and not how much technology an organization has at its disposal,” Babakanian added.
The UC San Diego Medical Center was among the first in the country to institute a bi-directional computerized physician order entry (CPOE) system, which enables physicians to enter a prescription order online in a program directly linked to the pharmacy’s computer system. Once the pharmacist validates the order, the medication is distributed through an automated dispensing system used by all nursing units that is electronically connected to the patient’s pharmacy profile. This protocol, along with bar-coded patient wristband technology, further improves accuracy at all stages of patient care.
Hospitals and Health Networks highlights top-ranking hospitals that are evaluated by how they use information technology in five areas: business processes, customer service, safety and quality, workforce, and public health and safety. Successful adaptation of information technology at hospitals results in streamlined clinical practices, increased patient outcomes, decreased medical errors, and improved satisfaction, customer service and patient care.
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Media Contact: Leslie Webb, 619-543-6163, L2webb@ucsd.edu