For the 13th straight year, Beaufort Memorial earned a spot on the list of the nation’s Most Wired Hospitals, putting it in the company of some of the most prestigious academic medical centers in the country.
Only 338 US hospitals met the American Hospital Association’s set of rigorous IT criteria designed to reduce the likelihood of medical errors. BMH was one of eight hospitals in South Carolina to earn the Most Wired distinction.
“We’ve continued to look at technology solutions with the goal of improving patients’ quality of care,” said BMH Chief Information Officer Ed Ricks. “It’s especially gratifying to make the Most Wired list since we moved from the ’small and rural hospitals‘ category and are now included with some of the largest hospital systems and medical centers in the nation, including Emory Healthcare in Atlanta, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City and Cedars-Sinai Health System in Los Angeles.”
Each year, Hospitals & Health Networks magazine, the flagship publication of the AHA, conducts a survey that asks hospitals and health systems nationwide to answer questions regarding their information technology initiatives. The 2015 survey was completed by 741 respondents, representing 2,213 hospitals, or more than 39 percent of all U.S. hospitals.
According to the survey, hospitals are taking more aggressive privacy and security measures to protect and safeguard patient data.
“With the rising number of patient data breaches and cybersecurity attacks threatening the healthcare industry, protecting patient health information is a top priority for hospital customers,” said Frank Nydam, senior director of Healthcare at VMware, sponsor of the 2015 Most Wired survey. “Coupled with the incredible technology innovation taking place today, healthcare organizations need to have security as a foundational component of their mobility, cloud and networking strategy and incorporated into the very fabric of the organization.”
This spring BMH created the position of director of information security and hired Jason Eddinger, an IT professional with 25 years’ experience in the health care field, to ensure the hospital is in compliance with the HIPAA Privacy Rule and all other federal regulations designed to protect electronic health information.
The hospital also has added helpful new functions to its patient portal—MyBMH—to get patients actively involved in their health care.
“The portal is an intuitive health management tool that allows patients to view their medical records, giving them ownership of their health,” said Shauna Bishop, Beaufort Memorial’s e-health director of information systems. “Whether they are focused on prevention, recovering from an illness or managing chronic conditions, it improves their ability to self-manage their health, resulting in better outcomes and enhanced patient satisfaction.”