Medicine and Technology
“A CD. How quaint. We have these in museums.”
-Eoin Colfer, The Eternity Code
In today’s world, technology moves fast. One has to keep a reasonable pace to keep up. In every industry, as well as in our personal lives, the role technology plays is an important one, none more so than in the industry of health care.
The evolution of medical technology has come a long way from when Hippocrates (460-377 B.C.) had his first consult and documented a patient’s process. Of course, a lot more data and devices are now used to treat someone.
Since this ancient time, an expansion of knowledge and medical technology have become key to saving lives and improving the health of an entire community.
Medical technology is now a huge field, and encompasses areas like biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, information technology or the development of complex medical devices or state-of-the-art equipment. Any medical innovations in these areas mean doctors, nurses and a variety of health care professionals can continue to find ways to make a positive impact on how to improve patient care.
Information Technology (IT) and Medicine
“When we know it, you’ll know it….”-CNN (news channel’s promo)
The use of electronic medical records, or connecting patients and doctors thousands of miles away through telemedicine, or mobile technologies like tablets and smart phones or the practice of fast interoperability applications have the great ability to improve the efficiency of care.
It is CHRISTUS Health’s use of these fast and secure medical technologies that recently earned the health system recognition once again by the American Hospital Association’s Health Forum. This is the second year the health system has received a Most Wired® award.
A Most Wired® facility helps highly trained medical staff and clinicians lose the traditional constraints of a hospital’s four walls. They no longer have a tether that holds them to one hard-wired computer. Clinicians often need mobile access to information one would need when making fast decisions. Results, reports, details on drugs, research and studies, patient history or records – are all available within mere seconds at their fingertips and on different devices as they make rounds through a hospital or clinic setting.
CHRISTUS’ progress toward getting valuable health information communicated to patients and other key members of a patient’s care team is crucial in making the most appropriate decisions on how and where to deliver the best care possible.
CHRISTUS Health’s Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer George Conklin is especially proud of the award because it means CHRISTUS is continuing to harness technology, engage patients and offer services remotely.
“The organizations that receive this kind of an award are organizations that are better run and have better clinical outcomes, and so it fits exactly with our mission to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ. It is an external verification of the fact that we are doing better in comparison to our peer organizations around the country,” said Conklin
Against the Backdrop of Health Care Reform
“A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.” ― David Brinkley, author
Health care continues to face some unique regulatory challenges affecting hospitals and health systems. Information technology has been instrumental in redefining the way that CHRISTUS meets those changes while providing a value-based continuum of care and building a solid foundation of patient engagement with the individual’s lifestyle in mind. This means CHRISTUS’ Infomation Technology must offer patients electronic access to their health information and provide clinicians with effective analysis tools. The goal is to eliminate possible gaps in care or hospital readmissions in a time when the focus is on pay-for-performance which means hospitals and health systems must provide the best patient experience and the best clinical outcomes.
CHRISTUS Health’s 2016 Most Wired® award recognizes those efforts and provides a benchmarking study. The study acts as a leading industry barometer measuring information technology (IT) use and adoption among hospitals nationwide. HealthCare’s Most Wired® survey, conducted between Jan. 15 and March 15, 2016, is published annually by Health & Hospitals Networks (H&HN). The survey of 680 participants, representing an estimated 2,146 hospitals—more than 34 percent of all hospitals in the U.S.—examines how organizations like CHRISTUS are leveraging IT to improve performance for value-based health care in the areas of infrastructure, business and administrative management; quality and safety; and clinical integration.
CHRISTUS’ Chief Information Officer says receiving the Most Wired®award is a big deal in the medical industry, but it also verifies to the communities we serve that CHRISTUS is keeping the pace with technology all in an effort to transform lives.
“It shows we are using the latest in technology to help us provide you with better care and better service,” said Conklin.