AROOSTOOK COUNTY, Maine — For the second consecutive year, use of technology to improve patient care has landed The Aroostook Medical Center on the American Hospital Association’s top 25 list of the nation’s “most wired” small and rural hospitals.
TAMC is one of six Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems hospitals cited as being at the forefront of using information technology to improve patient care, based on the results of a 2014 survey published by the AHA. TAMC, Acadia Hospital in Bangor, Blue Hill Memorial Hospital, and Inland Hospital in Waterville were honored in the most wired – small and rural category. Eastern Maine Medical Center and Sebasticook Valley Hospital were recognized in the healthcare’s most wired category. The six hospitals were among only nine in Maine to be recognized, and TAMC was the only medical center north of Bangor to make the list.
“I am both pleased and proud that these EMHS hospitals continue to play a leadership role in adopting and leveraging information technology,” said EMHS president and CEO M. Michelle Hood. “This technology gives caregivers access to information at the bedside, improves medication safety, and connects physicians and patients through telemedicine, among other benefits. I congratulate these EMHS members for again being recognized with the Most Wired distinction.”
As the nation’s healthcare system transitions to more integrated and patient-centered care, hospitals are utilizing information technology to better connect disparate care providers, according to the 16th annual Health Care’s Most Wired Survey, conducted by Hospitals & Health Networks. The survey assesses hospitals’ performance in four facets of information technology: infrastructure, business and administrative management, clinical quality and safety, and clinical integration.
“The Most Wired data show that shared health information allows clinicians and patients to have the information they need to promote health and make the most informed decisions about treatments,” says Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association. “Hospitals, like TAMC, their clinicians and their communities are doing tremendous work to enhance their IT systems in ways that support care and delivery improvement, and patient engagement goals.”
TAMC, along with other EMHS hospitals, participate in HealthInfoNet, a state-wide service that allows hospitals to share information in a secure way for the purpose of making healthcare safer and easier. All EMHS hospitals also use electronic medical records to reduce the likelihood of medication errors and ensure that important information about patient health is available to caregivers when and where it is needed.
“It is an honor for us to be named, for the second consecutive year, among the top 25 ‘most wired’ hospitals across the nation in the small and rural category,” said Sylvia Getman, TAMC president and CEO and EMHS senior vice president. “This both acknowledges the great work of our team in this area and tells the people of The County who count on us to deliver safe, quality care that they are in good hands.”
As TAMC and EMHS have integrated more technology, measures have been taken to ensure patient privacy and security. The latest technology is used to ensure patient health information is kept safe and secure. These safeguards were noted by the AHA in determining which hospitals were named to the Most Wired list.