Most wired hospitals use technology to partner with patients on their health, and this is the second consecutive year that North Country Hospital has been named a “Most Wired” hospital. In 2016, the hospital received the accolade in the “Small and Rural” category as a frontrunner among smaller community hospitals. This year North Country received the commendation of “Most Wired – Most Improved” and our efforts were compared with that of hospitals of all sizes across the country.

“It is an honor for North Country Hospital to be recognized for our advancements in Information Technology. Organizationally, we have made great strides in improving access to information for our clinical staff, which ultimately improves the care we provide to our patients,” said Kate Pierce, Executive Director of Clinical Information Systems. “It has been fulfilling to watch as we transitioned from paper to electronic medical records, and then from merely collecting data to actually using the information to improve the overall health of our community.”

Technology is making it easier for patients and providers to interact, improving communication, safety and patient-provider relationships. New tools are helping patients become more actively involved in their care and maintaining their health, according to results of the 19th Annual Health Care’s Most Wired® survey, released by the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Health Forum this week.

“The Most Wired hospitals are using every available technology option to create more ways to reach their patients in order to provide access to care,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. “They are transforming care delivery, investing in new delivery models in order to improve quality, provide access and control costs.”

According to the survey, Most Wired hospitals are using smart phones, telehealth and remote monitoring to create more ways for patients to access health care services and capture health information. North Country Hospital has a lot of this access already in place, such as secure messaging with clinicians on mobile devices, patients making prescription renewal requests on mobile devices, and adding data reported by patients to the electronic health record to get a better picture of what is going on with each individual patient.
Technology in healthcare is doing so much more than transitioning from paper medical records to electronic. It is opening up more and more opportunities and access to resources that were previously not available, especially at a rural hospital like North Country. Kate added, “As healthcare information systems continue to advance, we believe more changes will follow. For example, patient portal and telehealth usage will increase as we continue to focus on preventive healthcare. Eventually, these advancements will lead to lowering overall costs as advanced technology becomes the norm.”
North Country Hospital will continue to take advantage of the opportunities that technology provides to help our community remain healthy and strong. The efforts at North Country Hospital to embrace technological change is leading to improved care by creating better connections between patients and providers, providing tools for patients that help them take a more interactive role in their health and health decisions, and ultimately leading to a healthier community.


North Country Hospital Recognized Nationally for use of Information Technology.

Hospital named 2016 Most Wired™ – Small and Rural & HIMSS Analytics Stage 6

In recognition of its innovative use of information technology to improve patient care, North Country Hospital was named a 2016 “Most Wired™” organization by the American Hospital Association and recognized for its implementation of IT initiatives in the areas of infrastructure, quality, safety, and clinical integration.

“North Country Hospital has a long history of leveraging technology to provide the best possible patient care to our community. As a small community hospital, we are proud to be one of only four facilities in Vermont to receive this designation in 2016. This award, in conjunction with being recognized as HIMSS Stage 6, confirms that our IT strategy is on the right path” explains Kate Pierce, Executive Director of Information Systems.

NCH was one of four Vermont hospitals awarded as a result of the 18th annual Healthcare’s Most Wired survey released by the American Hospital Association’s Health Forum.

Earlier in the year, the hospital achieved HIMSS Analytics Stage 6. Nationally, only 4% of Hospitals have achieved higher than stage 6. A Stage 6 designation by HIMSS Analytics indicates that a facility has almost fully automated/paperless medical records that are available across most of the outpatient care settings. Among other qualifications, the facility must have achieved significant advancement in its IT capabilities, and is either starting to evaluate its data for care delivery process improvements or has already documented significant improvements in this area.

While it’s great to receive industry awards and recognition, our true focus remains the continuous advancement of our ability to care for our patients and improve the health of our community” explained Pierce.