Fitzgibbon Hospital is one of only a dozen Missouri hospitals recently recognized as HealthCare's "Most Wired" Hospitals for 2016. The recognition was announced earlier this month in Chicago at the American Hospital Association's Health Forum. Fitzgibbon Hospital staff have implemented more than 100 projects over the course of four years to earn the designation.
These projects have included migration from paper to an electronic health record, implementation of a patient portal, upgrades to software and services, network security, reconciliation of bedside medications, compliance with patient privacy standards and installation of a hospital-wide wireless network for patients and visitors.
"This recognition really came through the hard work of our entire organization. It took all of nursing, our physicians, our Information Systems team and our Administration to make these projects happen," said Tom Jones, VP and Chief Information Officer for Fitzgibbon Hospital.
One of the key areas that technology can be very useful in improving the health of a community is the ability to track and analyze symptoms and disease and then forward those findings to state and federal agencies. This ability allows organizations to see where outbreaks of certain disease or conditions may be occurring so that proper precautions and treatment can be administered. Several high profile national outbreaks of food-borne illnesses like E.coli and Listeria were discovered and addressed recently due to this type of data collection.
"We can go in and see where the next influenza outbreak is occurring, whether it is in our area or another area of the state. We are then able to see what other hospitals have done to provide care to meet those outbreaks. Additionally, if care is needed in another facility, we are able to securely transmit that patient data to the next care setting so they can provide the patient with the appropriate care," said Jones.
Fitzgibbon Hospital has met all requirements for Meaningful Use stages one and two. Meaningful Use is a set of guidelines for the implementation of an electronic health record and includes financial incentives as prescribed by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) and the accompanying HITECH act which was enacted by Congress in 2009.
Fitzgibbon Hospital has also achieved HIMSS Stage 6 designation in 2015, as they move to a paperless patient record. HIMSS Stage 6 positions Fitzgibbon Hospital to have significant advantages in patient safety, clinician support and clinician recruitment and helps the organization be better prepared for healthcare delivery over the next five to 10 years.
Fitzgibbon Hospital is one of only 12 hospitals in the state to earn the "Most Wired" recognition. Other hospitals included the University of Missouri Healthcare system in Columbia, Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Truman Medical Center in Kansas City, Mosaic Life Care in Saint Joseph and CoxHealth in Springfield.