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University Health is the first and only health organization in Texas to earn the top 2021 Most Wired designation

The digital transformation of health care is about improving quality, coordination of care, and helping patients be informed and engaged as a member of their own health care team.

University Health is one of just a handful of health care organizations to be certified as a Level 10 Most Wired health system by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME). It is also the only Level 10 Most Wired health organization in Texas.

From electronic health records to online patient portals, from barcodes on medications and patient wristbands to smart pumps for IV fluids, the digital transformation of health care is improving every aspect of care and improving outcomes for patients.

Reducing paper records ensures all information about each patient is immediately available and up to date. A quick scan of barcodes ensures the right medication and dose is being delivered to the right patient. An online portal enables patients to see their test results at the same time they are released to their doctors. These are just a couple of ways University Health is using technology to improve care and engage patients.

The Most Wired certification comes following a rigorous process to measure the organization’s adoption, integration and impact of technology. The assessment evaluated the integration of technology at University Hospital as well as at University Health’s broad network of ambulatory/outpatient locations.  University Health is among eight organizations to be certified at Level 10 for acute hospital care and nine organizations to be at Level 10 for ambulatory care. Only seven organizations in the country achieved Level 10 certification for both.

“This certification exemplifies our ongoing commitment to provide leading technology that ensures outstanding care for our patients,” said Bill Phillips, University Health chief information officer. “This has been a team effort involving every department across our large health system.” University Health president and CEO George B. Hernández Jr. added, “We are proud to have brought about this full digital transformation during this exceptionally challenging time. We are deeply invested in and committed to our patients and our growing community, and this certification validates the work we have done to lay a strong foundation for the future.”

University Health has achieved Most Wired status since 2008, but this is the first time for it to achieve this highest certification. A total of 36,674 organizations were represented in the 2021 Digital Health Most Wired program.

Standing up a new EHR during a pandemic

Not only is this an elite designation, but it was achieved under intensely challenging circumstances. At the beginning of 2020, University Health was preparing to transition to a new electronic health records system – a complete overhaul of the organization’s central nervous system. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the team had to pivot to create videos and an all-virtual training for the changeover. As a result of its success standing up a new EHR in an all-new way, University Health has now been able to assist other health care organizations to improve their EHR system adoptions.

Embracing change

In addition to this transition, University Health’s pandemic response included implementing telehealth, remote work, and iPads for patients to connect with families, as well as rapid training and IT access for agency and military nurses brought in during COVID-19 surges.

IT infrastructure has also been pivotal to efforts to protect the community as University Health set up one of the first mass COVID-19 vaccination centers in Texas. By scheduling appointments through MyChart on the University Health website, they were able to create individual electronic health records for each person and automatically deliver accurate and up-to-date vaccine reports to the state. So far, University Health has delivered more than 500,000 doses and each person can access their vaccine record through a smartphone app.

For more information about the CHIME Digital Health Most Wired program, please go chimecentral.org/chime-most-wired-2.

 

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