Like with any journey, when it comes to digital transformation in healthcare, periodically assessing your progress can help you appreciate how far you have come and determine how best to move forward.
With that in mind, the CHIME Digital Health Most Wired survey reflects the progress of leading healthcare providers as they reinvent healthcare for a new century. The survey’s certification levels help make the Most Wired program a catalyst for technology adoption that improves patient outcomes and engagement as organizations benchmark their level of adoption and outcomes achieved.
“Each year, our goal is to ensure that the industry standards continue to grow, and our levels are based solely on an organization's raw score without consideration for how this score compares to the scores of other participants,” said Michelle Patterson, vice president of operations for CHIME (College of Healthcare Information Executives).
To help healthcare organizations use Most Wired as a benchmark and something to aspire to, Patterson participated in a webinar hosted by The HCI Group. She was joined by executives from two healthcare systems that have used the survey as a roadmap to ensure that technology was an enabler to their organization’s business and clinical success.The following insights are excerpted from the webinar A Practical & Concise Playbook for Most Wired Excellence, featuring Patterson,:
- Lisa Stump - senior vice president and CIO for Yale New Haven Health System; and
- Craig Richardville - CIO for Intermountain Healthcare.
Deciding to do the Most Wired survey
Lisa Stump: There are many measures we use to think about where we sit in terms of industry best practices and standards. Most Wired gives us a level of granularity to understand where our opportunities are to continue to advance our use of technology to support the care and the business. To me, the benchmarking and that detailed level are some key differentiators around the Most Wired process.
Craig Richardville: There are several reasons but one is that it’s a road map. It allows you the opportunity to focus your work and be very disciplined with how you develop the different projects to move forward. The advancement of the Most Wired over the last couple of decades and where it is today is a progression of our industry.
As you take a look to see how the industry is evolving and how you should be progressing, it allows you to be able to not only take the work that you're doing but to apply it to the different business and clinical standards and get the best outcomes. And that is part of why we do this, to move the bar and achieve our strategic goals.
Richardville: It’s not an IT award. It’s a health system award. And when you look at all the health systems across the country, or in this case really across the globe, those that have that designation have a certain level of accomplishment that maybe some others do not. When you compare and contrast and you look to see how you're moving forward, it is something that the whole system can be very proud of because it's just not one division that makes it happen. It really takes everybody to change those outcomes and to move the health system forward. So, it is definitely front and center.
Stump: When we get the award and the details with the granularity around each of the survey’s segments, I sit with the president of our health system and I go through it and explain why we can be proud of the organization that we serve and how we are using the investment in technology and it against that roadmap. It’s important for the organization to recognize that those investments are paying off and keeping us on par with the industry standards.
Also, if we're not at a level against our peers that we would want to be or expect to be at in any of the categories, it helps me set the stage for the future investments that the organization is going to make.
Conveying its importance
Richardville: When you're done, you look at the organizations and the different levels, and then you look at the financial and the clinical outcomes that are produced. There is a correlation between those that are in the top tiers of Most Wired and their clinical outcomes and financial performance.
So, in terms of the value of doing it and impacting the community that you serve, there is a correlation with investments. You can see where certain items will impact certain goals that you might have on your scorecard as a healthcare system. And as you start to drive toward moving yourself up the bar on those, you'll see the outcome changing dramatically.
Stump: It’s an opportunity for the CIO or health IT leader to draw that correlation that not only are we meeting this industry standard and roadmap, but we’re tying it directly back to how it is allowing us to achieve the organization's overall objectives and strategies. Whether that be in new-patient acquisition, the patient experience, the safety and quality of the care that we provide, or somewhere else, help your colleagues in the C-suite and elsewhere understand how the technology is supporting those endeavors and that it's based on this industry benchmark process.
Rallying your team
Stump: It doesn't start with, ‘We're trying to win an award.’ It starts with, ‘We're doing important work. Here's a structure that can help us achieve that and understand how we're doing compared to the industry.’ Then there's a nice recognition of that work through the award in the end.
Richardville: There is a level or a level of competitiveness in pretty much everyone. As you rally your troops, for example, part of that is to show where the people might be in the industry that you'd like to be like, and to set that bar for the organization to move forward. And it's in our DNA to go ahead and have a very methodical way to work through achieving goals and accomplishments. Then, once you're done, it restarts and the bar's higher
Stump: When I moved into the CIO role, we were at a level seven or eight and now we’re a level nine. As soon as we got the level 9 notice though, I went straight to my team and said, ‘Let's start talking about what it takes to get to level 10.’ It gives you that framework and with some investment and the engagement of your executive leaders, you will move along that journey to use the technology to better serve your patients.
Starting the process
Stump: Start with that two-way dialogue using where you are and the award criteria as that gap analysis. Then engage your fellow leaders in the organization around their key priorities. You can't do it all at once, so that dialogue around aligning the priorities is important. Then it becomes an iterative process of helping them see how the investments are paying off and continuing to build on that as you go forward.
Richardville: Take a look at the baseline in the very first year. Figure out where exactly you're at and whatever you feel the next aspiration should be. As an industry, we would love it if everybody was a nine or 10 taking our technology and our digital investments and really upping the game and improving the outcomes financially and clinically. That would be great. We all want to promote and help each other out. So, reach out to people at the organizations that are at certain levels and they will reach back and help you.
Completing the Most Wired survey
Stump: I have a point person from our project management office who's done it for years, so she's very familiar with the survey itself. She knows who her key contacts are to go out to and get the information that she needs. Then a group of my senior team and I review their responses before it goes in to be sure that we didn't miss anything. Sometimes, they fill it out the same way they did last year and we're like, ‘I know we made this big change that moved our score.’ So, using that process and assigning it to a coordinator has been very helpful.
Patterson: Also, on chime central.org, you can print the PDF. That’s helpful to print out and work from within your organization. We also highlight every single change that was made from year-to-year, so that, as Lisa said, you don't get caught in what changed, what's different, and the progress that you've made.
For more insights on using the Most Wired survey as a roadmap to ensure that technology enables business and clinical success, watch the full webinar on YouTube.