Excela Health was recently ranked among the 2021 College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) Digital Health Most Wired healthcare organizations for the second consecutive year.

The honor comes during October, earmarked as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, to acknowledge the significance of safeguarding the vast stores of electronic data that are enveloped across the informational technology spectrum, including healthcare information.

Excela achieved a certified level 7 and Special Recognition designation for both acute (hospital) and ambulatory (outpatient) performance.

Specifically, this honor reflects Excela Health’s ability implement technologies and strategies such as population health/cost-of-care analytics, health information exchange integration and patient portals to help analyze data and to achieve meaningful clinical and efficiency outcomes. Excela also deploys more advanced technologies, like telehealth, to expand access to care beyond traditional settings.

“The surveys in which we participated allow us to examine how well Excela Health is leveraging IT to improve performance for value-based healthcare in the areas of clinical quality and safety, clinical integration, business and administrative management, and technology infrastructure,” said Janice Devine, senior vice president, chief information officer for Excela Health. “As we began navigating through the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw patients and providers embrace telehealth as never before, as a means to expedite care and remain connected with their healthcare team.

“I’m proud of the collaboration between our clinicians and the IT team to leverage Excela’s investment in information technology to improve the quality and safety of patient care in our community. I am also gratified that our unwavering focus on security and data integrity were among the areas where Excela received the highest survey scores.”

“Digital transformation in healthcare has accelerated to an unprecedented level since 2020, and the next few years will bring a wave of innovation that empowers healthcare consumers and will astound the industry,” said CHIME President and CEO Russell P. Branzell. “The Digital Health Most Wired program recognizes the outstanding digital leaders who have paved the way for this imminent revolution in healthcare. Their trailblazing commitment to rapid transformation has set an example for the entire industry in how to pursue a leadership vision with determination, brilliant planning and courage to overcome all challenges.”

A total of 36,674 organizations were represented in the 2021 Digital Health Most Wired program, which includes four separate surveys — acute, ambulatory, long-term care and international acute. The surveys assessed the adoption, integration and impact of technologies in healthcare organizations at all stages of development, from early development to industry leading.

Each participating organization received a customized benchmarking report, an overall score and scores for individual levels in eight segments: infrastructure; security; business/disaster recovery; administrative/supply chain; analytics/data management; interoperability/population health; patient engagement, and clinical quality/safety. Participants can use the report and scores to identify strengths and opportunities for improvement. Participants also received certification based on their overall performance, with level 10 being the highest.

Excela Health first participated in the Most Wired program in 2017 when the survey was under the auspices of the American Hospital Association.

According to the survey, Most Wired hospitals are using smart phones, telehealth and remote monitoring to create more ways for patients to access healthcare services and capture health information.

At Excela Health, the tools promoting clinical safety and quality include electronic order entry for medication and tests; barcoded medication administration to ensure the right drug to the right patients; and allergy to drug interaction checking.

In the area of clinical integration, Excela’s patient portal — Excela Health.me — allows patients to access their own medical records and engage in secure messaging with Excela employed providers who are connected via a single electronic medical record.

Supporting business operations are online staff scheduling and payroll; electronic purchasing requisitions and electronic bill and remittance posting.

All of these advances are supported by a secure wireless network for clinicians and staff, as well as state-of-the-art security software and practices to safeguard patient information.

As in past years, CHIME will publish an industry trends report based on Digital Health Most Wired responses from U.S. participants.

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