St. Luke’s Health System has been ranked as one of the United State’s Most Wired according to results of the 2010 logo_front9999Most Wired Survey which was published in July issue of Hospitals & Health Networks magazine. St. Luke’s Health System has been included in the Hospitals & Health Networks list of the Most Wired nine times before. Debe Gash, spokesperson for St. Luke’s Health System, explained this expression: “Most Wired is a method to benchmark the organization with our peers and track progress to achieving meaningful adoption of healthcare information technology,” she added “The ongoing support of our board and hospital leadership has enabled the organization to continue leveraging information technology to improve the delivery of care to our patients, creating a positive work environment and improving the overall experience for our patients.”

The Most Wired Survey for this year revealed that 51% of prescription orders were done electronically by doctors at Most Wired hospitals, 55 % of Most Wired hospitals use bar coding or radio-frequency identification to match medication orders at the bedside. Moreover, Most Wired hospitals have experienced more improvements regarding sharing information during care transitions. For instance, at Most Wired hospitals new medication lists are electronically delivered to physicians and patients 94 % of the time when a patient is transferred within the hospital, 98 % at discharge and 86 % when transferred to another care setting.

St. Luke’s and electronic initiatives.

Implementation of the electronic intensive care unit, eICU, and medication administration program, Horizon Admin-Rx, are main factors that helped St. Luke’s win their recent Most Wired title. Jennifer Ball, RN, BSN, MBA, director of nursing informatics in eICU, said programs such as these translate to quality care and patient safety. “It says St. Luke’s is headed in the right direction,” she added: “We’re about quality, great care and a great environment.” The eICU integrates software, telemedicine technology and specialized workflows to manage patients across critical care units in multiple St. Luke’s hospitals. Physicians and nurses also have access to the patient’s chart electronically to have the most accurate medication lists, laboratory studies and radiology images. Jennifer said: “It’s an example of the forward thinking,” she added: “It’s all about patient safety, offering the patient the best safety.”

In September 2008, St. Luke’s Northland Hospital installed Horizon Admin-Rx, a medication administration program, wishing to improve patient safety by reducing medical errors. Admin-Rx utilizes barcode scanning technology at the patient’s bedside to ensure the “five rights” of medication safety; the right patient is receiving the right dose of the right medication at the right time via the right route. Debbie Reilly, BSN, RN, with St. Luke’s Health System Information Technology, said “That was a huge win,” she added: “It improves their care. It removes barriers to the care.” St. Luke’s Northland Hospital is the first hospital in the northland to use this type of technology. With Horizon Admin-Rx, care provider can review the electronic Medication Administration Record, eMAR, scan the patient’s armband, and scan the medication bar code all at the patient’s bedside. Reilly said the Admin-Rx program fosters trust with patients. “It gives them a little more confidence,” she added: “Less frustration to all involved.” Alert messages appear on the eMAR to announce a problem of the medication administration rights. She said the process also allows the physician access to the patient’s medical record while at the bedside and assists care providers by ensuring medication safety and improving efficiencies by simultaneously documenting the administration process. “Both the patients and the staff appreciate the new technology,” Reilly said. “The patients like seeing the visible effort at securing their safety, and the staff enjoy how widely available the information is to physicians, the Pharmacy Department and staff once they have administered a medication or if there is a change in medication. We’re also finding that Admin-Rx is pulling nurses to the computers more, but because of that, they are able to monitor the status of labs, X–ray orders, and consults, thus managing overall patient care quicker and more efficient.”