Hospitals and healthcare systems across the U.S. are using information technology (IT) to improve the delivery of care to patients. The College of Healthcare Information Executives, known as CHIME, has named North Country Hospital and 253 other healthcare organizations worldwide as one of healthcare’s Most Wired. The honor, which is given to hospitals that are at the forefront of using healthcare IT to improve the delivery of care, was announced at the Fall 2018 forum in San Diego. This makes the third consecutive year that North Country Hospital has received this recognition.

This is the first year that CHIME oversaw the Most Wired program. The group revised and streamlined the survey to make sure questions reflect leading practices and successful, innovative uses of technology. Other changes include creating a new scoring methodology, setting a higher threshold to become a recipient. As a result of these more rigorous standards, North Country Hospital was the only hospital in Vermont that was recognized as Most Wired 2018. This unique distinction showcases our organizational commitment to leverage IT to improve care delivery throughout our community.

“The evaluation and scoring changes speak volumes to North Country Hospital receiving this recognition for the third time,” commented Chief Operating Officer, Tom Frank. “We have a fantastic team of skilled experts in information technology here, and with every project they take the time and detailed analysis essential for the best outcomes. I am so proud of them!”

IT has changed dramatically over the past 15 to 20 years, as has the role of the managers who oversee the technology and support staff at their respective healthcare organizations. In this new age they must be strategic and visionary leaders, who with their teams, can transform healthcare and continue to improve patient outcomes. One of the additional benefits of being a recipient of this honor is that each awarded healthcare organization receives a benchmark report with their overall score and a breakdown in each section of the survey, which can be used as a strength and gap analysis tool.

“Most Wired is a great way for us to see how North Country Hospital compares to organizations across the country, and to identify ways that we can further use IT to improve patient services,” noted Kate Pierce, Executive Director of IT/Informatics. “In the summer of 2018, North Country replaced our three main medical record systems with a single integrated system, athenahealth. This move was instrumental in ensuring that North Country Hospital can continue to meet technology advances in the healthcare industry for 2019 and beyond. Our patients deserve the best care possible, and we are excited to partner with athena to take our organization to the next level.”

The efforts at North Country Hospital with continual receptiveness to change, leads 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.