Atlantic Health System Named an “Elite” Organization for Use of Health Care Technology
Tuesday, April 8, 2014 • 4:22pm
Atlantic Health System, one of the largest not-for-profit health care systems in New Jersey, was ranked today by InformationWeek Magazine on its Elite 100 – a list of the top business technology innovators in the United States.
Atlantic Health System, the parent organization of Morristown, Overlook, Newton and Chilton medical centers and Goryeb Children’s Hospital, ranked 55th, making it the highest-ranked New Jersey-based hospital system on the list. This recognition follows the fifth consecutive year that Atlantic Health System has been named by InformationWeek as one of the top 250 innovative business technology organizations throughout the country in the magazine’s 2013 InformationWeek 500 list.
For the Elite list, this assessment was narrowed to a select 100 organizations. The InformationWeek Elite 100 research tracks the technology-based investments, strategies, and results of some of the best-known organizations in the country. Unique among corporate rankings, the InformationWeek Elite 100 spotlights the power of business technology innovation.
In naming Atlantic Health System to the Elite list, InformationWeek recognized the hospital system’s recent development and implementation of an early warning system for patients developing sepsis.
Patients with developing sepsis often exhibit subtle changes in vital signs, such as blood pressure and heart rate, which may go unnoticed until the opportunity to intervene has passed. While these data points may have little individual significance, Atlantic Health System explored whether they might signify a risk of sepsis when observed together.
The Patient Safety and Quality team at Atlantic Health System sought a means of identifying those patients before the window of opportunity closed, and called upon Information Services and Support department, which oversees IT throughout the system, to develop an early warning system that could alert clinicians to the signs of developing sepsis.
After identifying and refining the data points that could alert health care providers to this risk, the system was put into use, and has led to a decrease in the overall mortality rate, of which sepsis is the largest contributor. The system is expected to be further enhanced, allowing such features as automatic feed of data from patient monitors and direct alerts to physicians’ mobile devices.
“The ultimate goal of health care information technology is to improve the care that a patient receives,” said Linda Reed, RN, Vice President, Behavioral and Integrative Medicine and Chief Information Officer, Atlantic Health System. “Through our sepsis project and many others, Atlantic Health System has been able to find new ways to help our staff improve care, save lives and make a better experience for all who come through our doors.”
The sepsis system is among Atlantic Health System’s recent information technology accomplishments, including an expansive project to give physicians the ability to remotely access important data.
The Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) project offers a means to provide physicians with robust access to clinical and diagnostic information, electronic medical records and practice management applications. The system provides the same, full functionality that doctors would have at computers in the hospitals, and operates on any device and operating system, including physicians’ own devices. This makes the program accessible anytime, anywhere, in a highly secure environment.
Another of Atlantic Health System’s IT initiatives has been to develop a comprehensive mobile health strategy, which involves both developing and acquiring mobile apps that will help physicians and staff provide care and engage patients in the care they receive.
Atlantic Health System is also a founding member of Jersey Health Connect, one of four state grant funded Health Information Exchanges in New Jersey. The HIEs provide collaboration between hospital systems and physician organizations to efficiently exchange data in order to enhance care coordination. This collaboration greatly relies on health care information technology, allowing member hospitals and organizations to access and update information about patients within the network.
InformationWeek magazine, one of the premier information technology publications, examines the technology strategies and initiatives of companies from several industries, excluding government and education.
The full list of Elite 100 winners can be found on http://www.informationweek.com/elite100.
To learn more about Atlantic Health System, visit www.atlantichealth.org.