Contact: Daniel Murphy
Release: August 19, 2010
Moon Township, PA, (August 19, 2010) – Heritage Valley Health System was recently named as one of the top 25 most connected facilities by Health Imaging & IT magazine. The “2010 Top Connected Healthcare Facilities” list recognizes hospitals, health systems, imaging centers and physician practices that seamlessly integrate imaging and information technology (IT) systems, provide physicians with immediate, anywhere access to patient data and demonstrate a return on investment and high patient and staff satisfaction.
This year’s winners distinguished themselves by linking patient images with an electronic health record (EHR) as well as providing employed and referring physicians with remote access to clinical images and data.
The magazine noted that Heritage Valley’s electronic health record provides wired and wireless access to longitudinal lab results, radiology reports and images and medical history at all points of care. More than 250 physicians use a wireless handheld device application that provides access to three years of online clinical data from any Wi-Fi or broadband connection. The number of physicians to adopt the technology increased greatly since the launch in 2007, when there were only 30 users. More than 200 primary care and specialist physicians and 1,600 clinicians and support staff access the EHR through a clinical portal on a daily basis.
Another factor differentiating the winners is the integration of PACS (Picture Archiving Communication System) and EHR. With regard to PACS integration, Heritage Valley documented an 80 percent improvement in emergency result cycle time with full PACS/RIS (Radiology Information System) implementation, and a “PACS note” tool allowing radiologists to provide immediate feedback to emergency department physicians.
“The competition was intense,” said Editorial Director Mary C. Tierney. “We see the merging of innovative imaging and IT technologies clearly helping to improve patient care and increase productivity across departments, facilities and even entire healthcare enterprises. This careful integration of technologies also is helping to cut costs and fuel growth. The ‘Top Connected Healthcare Facilities’ are excellent examples of smart technology investment, interoperability among devices and IT systems and notable sharing of resources.”
On the financial side, Heritage Valley Health System reduced its clerical workforce by 10 FTEs to save $300,000 and cut its annual operational supplies budget by $550,000 with the conversion to digital data.
“Every year, the bar is raised, and this year, we saw our most impressive group of winners to date,” added Lisa Fratt, editor of Health Imaging & IT.
“We have always viewed Information Technology as an enabler to help our physicians and caregivers serve our patients in a quicker and more efficient manner,” said David Carlton, Chief Information Officer at Heritage Valley. “We are honored to be named one of the ‘Top Connected Healthcare Facilities’ in the country and credit the foresight of our Board of Directors and President and CEO Norm Mitry and their ongoing commitment to healthcare information technology.”