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UMMC among "Most Wired" health-care facilities

Published on Friday, July 8, 2016

By: Ruth Cummins .

Published in News Stories on July 08, 2016

The University of Mississippi Medical Center has been named to the 2016 “Most Wired” list for health-care facilities by Hospitals & Health Networks.

In partnership with the American Hospital Association, Hospitals & Health Networks conducts the survey each year to recognize organizations for excellence in IT services and technology deployment in patient care.

“This is the fourth consecutive year that we have been included on this list, and we are so honored to be listed among our country's top hospitals,” said Ellen Swoger, the Medical Center's associate chief information officer in the Division of Information Systems.

"A recognition such as this is the result of a lot of hard work from around the organization. From those who make decisions to incorporate these technologies, to those who finance them, and especially those who use them, this award recognizes everyone at UMMC.

Keeping health-care data out of the hands of cybercriminals is a major component of being “Most Wired,” Hospitals & Health Networks says.

Other matters growing in importance among the Most Wired hospitals, Hospitals & Health Networks says on its website, include “using data to make the transition from volume-based to value-based reimbursement; helping to connect hospitals in remote locations with specialists via video or audio; and continuing to work to make electronic health records more useful and shareable among different hospitals and health systems.”

Most Wired-designees are big users of defensive measures against hackers such as intrusion detection systems, a news release from Hospitals & Health Networks says. Sixty-seven percent of Most Wired hospitals and health systems use pattern detection to prevent automated logins and other means of breaking into hospitals' IT systems, compared with 60 percent in 2015 and 48 percent in 2013.

The Most Wired hospitals and systems also use telehealth to varying degrees. It's on the upswing, despite being hindered by reimbursement limitations. UMMC's telehealth program, which began in 2003 and reaches more than half a million rural Mississippians annually, has been acclaimed as the nation's trailblazer.

“Telehealth is getting a lot more interest,” Chantal Worzala, vice president for health information and policy operations with the American Hospital Association, said in the news release.