Newswise — Rush University Medical Center has been named one of only 20, advanced “Most Wired” hospitals in the nation, according to the 16th annual survey conducted by Hospitals & Health Networks.

Out of 680 participants, Rush was one of only 20 organizations who met the criteria to be considered for “Most Wired—Advanced Organizations.” To make the advanced list, an organization must show exceptional results in the Most Wired Survey and Benchmarking Study.

The survey focused on health care systems and hospitals throughout the nation using clinical information systems that improve and enhance patient care and the patient experience. The 2014 Most Wired Survey is published in the July issue of the magazine.

“This recognition reflects Rush’s deep commitment to use information technology (IT) that engages our patients, maximizes quality, safety, and efficiency of care, and help connect Rush with our broader health care community,” said Dr. Shannon Sims, PhD, associate chief medical information officer at Rush University Medical Center.

Nearly 67 percent of Most Wired hospitals share critical patient information electronically with specialists and other care providers. Most Wired hospitals use information technology to reduce the likelihood of medical errors. For example, at Most Wired hospitals, 81 percent of medications are matched to the patient, nurse and order using bar code technology at the bedside.

The study examines the hospitals’ adoption of electronic systems and the tools available to improve clinical quality, patient safety and business processes; the use of evidence-based electronic order sets and plan of care and standardized care transition processes; and other electronic management tools.

The survey also looks at security systems and how quickly recovery time is in the case of a disaster.

“We use an electronic health record (EHR) across the health care spectrum to provide Rush clinicians with full and accurate information about their patients at the point of where care is provided. This allows them to make better decisions about treatments and therapies,” said Lisa Swiontek, RN, MBA, associate vice president, clinical information systems at Rush University Medical Center.

“Additionally, Rush is participating in various Health Information Exchange (HIE) initiatives to be able to share information across health care institutions with the goal of enhancing coordination of patient care among providers and improving health care quality and outcomes.”

The 2014 Most Wired Survey also covered the evolution of new models and payment from the IT perspective. As health care delivery moves to a value-based system, it will require more and better use of data analytics, care coordination and population health management.

“It is a true honor for Rush to receive this award which represents the best in technology and clinical integration,” said Jaime Parent, associate CIO and vice president of IT Operations. “Our physicians and nurses are the best and together we share a true collaborative spirit that is Rush.”

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 680 surveys, representing 1,900 hospitals, or more than 30 percent of all U.S. hospitals.

The July H&HN cover story-detailing results are available at