Taking advantage of tech

Technology permeates almost every corner of health care. Patient records, the operating room and primary care providers are all increasingly interconnected. 

This year's Health Care's Most Wired survey, conducted by Trustee's sister publication Hospitals & Health Networks and the American Hospital Association, shows that hospitals are making good use of that technology. Health systems are using data and analytics to improve their processes and care. The ubiquity of smartphones and other devices is being put to advantage as hospitals connect with patients.

"I opened my practice in 1991, and in the old days I would stop back at the hospital before I went home for the night," says Joseph Mannion, M.D., an internal medicine practitioner and chief information officer at Hackensack Meridian Health in New Jersey. "Now I can check in on my patients remotely throughout the day."

But there remains work to be done. Integration with organizations outside the hospital's walls can always be improved, and electronic health records can be connected with tools that help manage population health.

Rebecca Vesely's synopsis of the survey, profiles of two Most Wired hospitals and, yes, the Health Care's Most Wired list itself are in a package starting on Page 8. Something new this year is the appearance of a non-U.S. hospital, Cambridge University Hospitals in the United Kingdom.

In a related story starting on Page 14, Anthony J. Montagnolo describes how more and more medical devices connect with information technology systems. While this allows for advances in care, it also increases cybersecurity risks. These risks are something hospital trustees need to address and find ways to mitigate. Montagnolo has some tips on doing just that.

Finally, it's not too late to register for the American Hospital Association's Leadership Summit, which will be held July 27-29 in San Diego. This year's summit, which brings together leaders from across the field, will include a set of events designed specifically for trustees.