HOUSTON (July 29, 2014)

For the 10th consecutive year, Memorial Hermann Health System has been selected as one of the nation’s “Most Wired,” according to a survey published by the American Hospital Association in this month’s issue of Hospitals & Health Networks.

Dan Wolterman, president and CEO of Memorial Hermann Health System, said the health system is pleased to be recognized for its accomplishments in business and administrative management, clinical quality and safety, and clinical integration.

“Memorial Hermann has thoughtfully and strategically invested in research and development of new information systems to help our physicians, nurses, and healthcare professionals provide high quality, safe, expedient care for our patients,” said Wolterman. “Specifically, we have seen significant results in the areas of care delivery, physician integration, and health solutions.”

“Over the past 10 years, technology has had a sweeping impact on all aspects of our lives, changing our work environment in addition to our personal lives and leisure time,” said Chief Information and Marketing Officer David Bradshaw. “Capitalizing on the rapid rise of mobile devices, advancements in archiving and exchanges, and availability of cloud services, Memorial Hermann is looking at the future of healthcare and actively transforming it to revolve around the patient.”

Building on a Cerner Millennium integrated clinical information system, Memorial Hermann continues to grow by using advanced platforms for computerized physician order entry, bar code medication administration, clinical decision support, integrated physiological monitoring, and advanced data analytics and reporting.

“Facilitated by the timely availability of data, Memorial Hermann is determined to close the time and distance gap between the patient and the healthcare provider; and thus, provide high quality, coordinated, seamless patient care,” said Chief Health Informatics Officer Robert Murphy, MD “We continue to work closely with medical and clinical staff leadership in our hospitals and physician network to find ways in which technology can help them deliver outstanding and efficient care.”

One key patient-centered initiative is Advanced Primary Care Practices, which builds on the organization's groundbreaking clinical integration program to bring medical staff physicians together in a common commitment to quality and accountability.

Central to Memorial Hermann’s population health strategy is the embedding of innovative information technology, including a point-of-care registry tool and the Memorial Hermann Information Exchange (MHiE), which provides physicians and nurses with real-time, up-to-date information on the health status of each patient at the time of the actual patient visit or telephone call.

One component of MHiE is a cloud-based medical image sharing platform that vastly enhances image management, distribution, and data exchanges between referring physicians and hospitals in southeast Texas. Memorial Hermann also launched ScheduleNow, the area’s first online consumer patient scheduling application that allows consumers to confirm appointments with physicians and for a wide variety of medical procedures.

Using MHiE enables healthcare providers to share clinical data with each other in a privacy-protected manner that helps avoid unnecessary duplication of medical services. For instance, physicians can be prompted to order and schedule needed tests and vaccinations, or alerted to changes in medications made by other physicians. Moreover, they can be notified of abnormal lab values and prompted to intervene appropriately.

In addition to the population health strategy to better manage quality and proactively improve chronic and preventive care, Memorial Hermann introduced Virtual Care Check Remote Monitoring. Under this program, patients with chronic medical conditions requiring frequent monitoring have access to convenient, easy-to-use, mobile healthcare that sends updates from their homes to their healthcare providers at Memorial Hermann.

“In terms of managing chronic diseases, improving care transitions, and reducing re-admissions, we must provide health providers with the latest patient information using the most advanced information systems,” said Bradshaw. “Ultimately, Memorial Hermann patients enjoy greater peace of mind knowing the people responsible for their medical care have their latest health information and can immediately intervene if necessary.”

Health Care’s Most Wired Survey, conducted earlier this year, asked hospitals and health systems nationwide to answer questions regarding their IT initiatives. Respondents completed 680 surveys, representing 1,900 hospitals, or more than 30 percent of all U.S. hospitals.