UCSF Medical Center, Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco Named Among 2017’s ‘Most Wired’ Hospitals

National Survey Recognizes Use of Technology to Support Medical Care, Improve Overall Patient Experience

By Scott Maier

Therese Moran and Judith Bishop use handheld devices to monitor patients at the Betty Irene Moore Women’s Hospital at Mission Bay
Therese Moran (left), RN, and Judith Bishop, RN, a certified nurse midwife, use handheld devices to monitor patients at the Betty Irene Moore Women’s Hospital at Mission Bay. Photo by Susan Merrell

In recognition of their use of technologies that make it easier for patients and medical providers to interact, thus improving communication, safety and patient care, UCSF Medical Center and Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco have been named among HealthCare’s “Most Wired®” for 2017, the third straight year for the hospitals to receive the award.

Hospitals with this designation are utilizing smartphones, telehealth, remote patient monitoring technologies, secure messaging and other tools to increase patients’ access to health care providers, and recording valuable health data for improving safety and quality.

The tools are helping patients become more actively involved in their care and maintaining their health, and enabling health care workers to better support their patients, according to results of the 19th annual HealthCare’s Most Wired® survey, released July 10 by the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Health Forum. 

“This award recognizes UCSF’s commitment to continuously working to improve the way we provide medical care, in terms of communication with our patients and the quality of the experience for them,” said Sheila Antrum, president of UCSF Medical Center and senior vice president of adult services at UCSF Health. 

The 2017 Most Wired survey and benchmarking study is a leading, nationwide industry barometer. The survey of 698 participants, representing an estimated 2,158 hospitals – more than 39 percent of all U.S. hospitals – examines how organizations are leveraging information technology (IT) to improve performance for value-based health care in the areas of infrastructure, business and administrative management; quality and safety; and clinical integration.

“We are honored to be a recipient of this prestigious award from the AHA recognizing us as among the nation’s most wired hospitals,” said Russ Cucina, MD, MS, chief health information officer for UCSF Health and professor of medicine. “We are committed to providing the highest quality health care to meet the needs of patients and their families, which includes the implementation and use of the latest technology.”

According to the new survey of Most Wired hospitals:

  • 76 percent offer secure messaging with clinicians on mobile devices.
  • When patients need ongoing monitoring at home, 74 percent use secure emails for patients and families to keep in touch with the care team. 
  • 68 percent simplify prescription renewals by letting patients make requests on mobile devices.
  • 62 percent add data reported by patients to the electronic health record to get a better picture of what is going on with the patient.
  • Nearly half of the hospitals are using telehealth to provide behavioral health services to more patients.
  • 40 percent offer virtual physician visits. 
  • More than 40 percent provide real-time care management services to patients at home for diabetes and congestive heart failure.

“The Most Wired award is a direct reflection of UCSF’s commitment to high quality care, patient safety and efficiency,” said Joe R. Bengfort, associate vice chancellor and chief information officer (CIO) at UCSF. “It is the result of a huge team effort across our Information Technology, Clinical Systems and Health Informatics teams, but most importantly, the caregivers and staff across UCSF Health.” 

Innovation in patient care embraces emerging technologies and underscores the need for secure patient information exchange. Hospitals have increased their use of sophisticated IT monitoring systems to detect patient privacy breaches, monitor for malicious activities or policy violations and produce real-time analysis of security alerts. 

In addition, Most Wired hospitals are transforming care delivery with knowledge gained from data and analytics. They are investing in analytics to support new delivery models and effective decision-making and training clinicians on how to use analytics to improve quality, provide access and control costs.

“The Most Wired hospitals are using every available technology option to create more ways to reach their patients in order to provide access to care,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. “They are transforming care delivery, investing in new delivery models in order to improve quality, provide access and control costs.”

HealthCare’s Most Wired Survey, conducted between Jan. 15 and March 15, 2017, in cooperation with the AHA and Clearwater Compliance, LLC, is published annually by Hospitals & Health Networks (H&HN). Detailed results of the survey and study can be found in the July issue of H&HN.

UC San Francisco (UCSF) is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. It includes top-ranked graduate schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy; a graduate division with nationally renowned programs in basic, biomedical, translational and population sciences; and a preeminent biomedical research enterprise. It also includes UCSF Health, which comprises three top-ranked hospitals, UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals in San Francisco and Oakland, and other partner and affiliated hospitals and healthcare providers throughout the Bay Area.

About the American Hospital Association
The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the improvement of health in their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks and other providers of care. 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 www.aha.org.