Heritage Valley Health System Named 2014 Most Wired

Heritage Valley Health System is one of the nation’s “Most Wired,” according to a survey published by the American Hospital Association in the July issue of Hospitals & Health Networks (H&HN) magazine. Heritage Valley Health System is one of only three Pittsburgh-area health systems to achieve this recognition this year.

Health Care’s Most Wired Survey, conducted between Jan. 15 and March 15, asked hospitals and health systems nationwide to answer questions regarding their IT initiatives. Respondents completed 680 surveys, representing 1,900 hospitals, or more than 30 percent of all U.S. hospitals.

“We are honored to be recognized as a 2014 Most Wired Health System,” said David Carleton, chief information officer at Heritage Valley Health System.  “We credit the foresight and vision of our board of directors who have made an annual investment in information technology since 1998. 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.”

As the nation’s health care 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.

For instance, 67 percent of Most Wired hospitals, including Heritage Valley Health System, share critical patient information electronically with specialists and other care providers. In fact, Heritage Valley as well as UPMC and St. Clair, the other two Pittsburgh-area hospitals that were recognized, are all members of ClinicalConnect, the region’s largest and most active health information exchange (HIE).

The Most Wired hospitals and health systems meet a set of rigorous criteria across four operational categories and have made tremendous gains by using IT to reduce the likelihood of medical errors. Heritage Valley’s IT efforts have streamlined communication of patient health information across all of the Health System’s providers and locations.

“For example, if a patient is seen at a Heritage Valley Medical Group ConvenientCare walk-in clinic, Heritage Valley Emergency Department or in any of our diagnostic and lab draw locations, this information is added to the patient’s electronic health record and shared with his or her primary care physician,” added Mr. Carleton.  “Furthermore, by using Heritage Valley’s online Health Link portal, patients can access their health records right from our website.”

“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, 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.”

The 2014 Most Wired Survey also covered the evolution of new models and payment from the IT perspective. As health care delivery moves to a value-based system, it will require more and better use of data analytics, care coordination and population health management.

The July H&HN cover story detailing results is available at www.hhnmag.com.


About Heritage Valley Health System
Heritage Valley Health System is a $450 million integrated delivery network providing comprehensive health care for residents of Allegheny, Beaver, Butler and Lawrence counties, in Pennsylvania; eastern Ohio; and the panhandle of West Virginia. In partnership with 3,800 employees and more than 450 physicians, Heritage Valley offers a broad range of medical, surgical and diagnostic services at its two hospitals, Heritage Valley Sewickley and Heritage Valley Beaver; in 64 physician offices; and 14 community satellite facilities.  For more information about Heritage Valley Health System, please visit www.heritagevalley.org.

About the AHA
The AHA is a nonprofit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which includes nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, and other providers of care. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA website at www.aha.org.


About the Most Wired Survey
The 2014 Most Wired Survey is conducted in cooperation with McKesson Corp., AT&T, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, and the American Hospital Association.