Northwestern Medical Center, 3-31-2020

ST. ALBANS – The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is pleased to announce that Northwestern Medical Center has earned 2020 CHIME Digital Health Most Wired recognition as a certified level 7.

The CHIME Digital Health Most Wired program conducts an annual survey to assess how effectively healthcare organizations apply core and advanced technologies into their clinical and business programs to improve health and care in their communities.

“Digital technology has been a driver of innovation in healthcare for many years now, but never to the degree that we saw in 2020 with the pandemic,” said CHIME President and CEO Russell P. Branzell. “The Digital Health Most Wired program underscores why healthcare organizations keep pushing themselves to be digital leaders and shows what amazing feats they can achieve. This certification recognizes their exemplary performance in 2020.”

NMCs efforts to keep technology infrastructure current paid off during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were well prepared for the sudden need to provide Telehealth services to our patients and to support staff who had to begin working remotely,” said Dennis Boucher, IS Operations Manager.

NMC was also able demonstrate how the data collected through electronic healthcare systems can impact patient care in a time of crisis. Chris Sheldon, one of NMC’s data analysts said: “It’s nice to know that we were able to provide the tools needed by the clinical teams to make informed decisions.”

Those tools included electronic dashboards created to manage COVID-19 patients and track inventories of critical Personal Protective Equipment.

A total of 30,135 organizations were represented in the 2020 Digital Health Most Wired program, which assessed the adoption, integration and impact of technologies in healthcare organizations.

Each participating organization received a customized benchmarking report, an overall score and scores for individual levels in eight segments: infrastructure; security; business/disaster recovery; administrative/supply chain; analytics/data management; interoperability/population health; patient engagement; and clinical quality/safety. Participants can use the report and scores to identify strengths and opportunities for improvement. Participants also received certification based on their overall performance, with level 10 being the highest.

NMC scored well in the Interoperability/Population Health and Patient Engagement portion of the survey.

“Our team has been working on enabling technology to receive and ingest CCD (Continuity of Care Documents) information, along with sending CCD and referrals electronically,” said Chris Giroux, NMC’s Manager of Informatics and Data Management.

“We continue to work on the clinical process with folks in the organization. In addition, we have expanded the ability for patients to communicate with providers. For example, virtual visits, communication through the patient portal and other electronic methods to for patients to access their data. This work is directly reflected in NMC Most Wired Survey scores.”

This is the third year that CHIME has conducted the survey and overseen the program. In each successive year, CHIME has expanded the survey to capture more types of organizations that serve patients across the continuum of care. CHIME also continues to promote the program internationally to provide a global overview of digital health advancements.

As in past years, CHIME will publish an industry trends report based on Digital Health Most Wired responses from U.S. participants. The 2020 National Trends Report is scheduled to be released in November during CHIME20 Digital.

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