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Northeast Georgia Health System Named One of the Nation’s Most Wired Hospitals and Health Systems of 2012

Published on July 19, 2012
July 19, 2012

Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS) has been recognized as one of the Most Wired Hospitals and Health Systems of 2012, according to the results of the 2012 Most Wired Survey released in the July issue of Hospitals & Health Networks magazine.  The survey was conducted in cooperation with McKesson Corporation, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, and the American Hospital Association (AHA).
The nation’s Most Wired hospitals and health systems are leveraging the adoption and use of health information technology (IT) to improve performance in a number of areas, according to Health Care’s Most Wired 2012 Survey.  As a field, hospitals and health systems are focused on expanding and adopting IT that protects patient data and optimizes patient flow and communications.
“Northeast Georgia Health System is very proud to be recognized as one of the Most Wired health systems in the U.S.,” says Carol Burrell, President and CEO of NGHS. “We have made significant investments in our information technology infrastructure with the key goals of improving patient care, safety and satisfaction.  We are honored that this investment has been recognized on a national level.”
Health Care’s Most Wired Survey, conducted between Jan. 15 and March 15, asked hospitals and health systems nationwide to answer questions regarding their IT initiatives. Respondents completed 662 surveys, representing 1,570 hospitals, or roughly 27 percent of all U.S. hospitals.  Of those, 154 met the criteria to be named Most Wired; NGHS is one of five in Georgia to make the list.
Among the key findings this year’s Most Wired survey:  
  • 93 percent of Most Wired hospitals employ intrusion detection systems to protect patient privacy and security of patient data, in comparison to 77 percent of the total responders.  
  • 74 percent of Most Wired hospitals and 57 percent of all surveyed hospitals use automated patientflow systems.
  • 90 percent of Most Wired hospitals and 73 percent of all surveyed use performance improvement scorecards to help reduce inefficiencies.
  • 100 percent of Most Wired hospitals check drug interactions and drug allergies when medications are ordered as a major step in reducing medication errors.
“As shown by these survey results, hospitals continue to demonstrate how IT not only can be used to improve patient care and safety but it is also a means to improve efficiency,” says Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the AHA.
“NGHS is leveraging healthcare information technology to enhance patient safety in our Quest for Excellence to deliver the highest quality of care for our community in the most efficient way,” adds Allana Cummings, NGHS’ Chief Information Officer.
The recognition of NGHS as a leader in healthcare information technology continues to grow.  The organization is participating in two of only 107 Health Care Innovation Award grants given by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) as part of the Affordable Care Act.  One is a $10.7 million grantNGHS applied for in partnership with Emory University and other Atlanta area hospitals which will build a collaborative network to support intensive care units in North Georgia.  The other is a $20.75 million grant NGHS is participating in with along with 15 other community hospitals, VHA, TrasforMED and Phytel, Inc.  This multi-community partnership project will expand the concept of the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) to the Patient-Centered Medical Neighborhood and connect acute-care hospitals with primary care, specialty and subspecialty practices to drive better quality and superior patient experience at a more affordable cost.
“We are very fortunate to be a part of two of the 107 Health Care Innovation Awards granted,” says Burrell. “I am told we are in a class of only a few across the country. This speaks highly of Northeast Georgia Health System’s reputation, our investment in information technology, and our ability to attract collaborative partnerships.”
About the AHA
The American Hospital Association (AHA) is the national organization that represents and serves all types of hospitals, health care networks, and their patients and communities. Close to 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, other providers of care and 40,000 individual members come together to form the AHA.  Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends.  For more information, visit the AHA website at
About the Most Wired Survey
The 2012 Most Wired Survey is conducted in cooperation with McKesson Corporation, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), and the American Hospital Association.  The methodology of the survey sets specific requirements in each of four focus areas. If any of these requirements is not met, then the organization does not achieve the Most Wired designation. Thus, an organization may have many advanced capabilities, yet not able to achieve Most Wired status. The four focus areas are: infrastructure, business and administrative management, clinical quality and safety (inpatient/outpatient hospital), and clinical integration (ambulatory/physician/patient/community).
About the Sponsors
McKesson Corporation, currently ranked 14th on the FORTUNE 500, is a healthcare services and information technology company dedicated to making the business of healthcare run better. We partner with payers, hospitals, physician offices, pharmacies, pharmaceutical companies and others across the spectrum of care to build healthier organizations that deliver better care to patients in every setting. McKesson helps its customers improve their financial, operational, and clinical performance with solutions that include pharmaceutical and medical-surgical supply management, healthcare information technology, and business and clinical services. For more information, visit
The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is an executive organization dedicated to serving chief information officers and other senior healthcare IT leaders. With more than 1,400 CIO members and over 70 healthcare IT vendors and professional services firms, CHIME provides a highly interactive, trusted environment enabling senior professional and industry leaders to collaborate; exchange best practices; address professional development needs; and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and healthcare in the communities they serve.
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