Akron Children's named a "Most Wired" hospital

Akron Children's named a Most Wired hospital


Akron Children’s Hospital has been named one of the country’s “Most Wired” hospitals.

This is the 15thanniversary of the health care industry’s “Most Wired Survey,” which is conducted in cooperation with the American Hospital Association, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, and others.  From the survey, a national benchmarking report is created comparing each hospital’s IT solutions against others. Those with exceptionally high IT integration throughout their organization are recognized with the “Most Wired’ award.

The honor comes just six months after Akron Children’s was ranked at Stage 6 (out of seven stages) and in the top 10 percent of hospitals nationally for implementation and use of its inpatient electronic medical records (EMR) by HIMSS Analytics, a not-for-profit subsidiary of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.

“Where Stage 6 reflects our extensive implementation and use of the EMR, the Most Wired honor is broader and looks at an organization’s entire information technology efforts,” said Tom Ogg, chief information officer for Akron Children’s. “This designation reflects a dedication to making sure we have the best technologies and resources to deliver high-quality and safe healthcare throughout the organization.  A hospital can have either recognition but having both reflects a true organizational commitment to utilizing information technology solutions.  This is a big ‘win’ for all of the Akron Children’s team and, more importantly, the patients we serve.”

Most Wired hospitals, essentially, treat information technology as a strategic asset.

The Most Wired honor is based on a comprehensive survey which evaluates a hospital’s  systems and solutions to improve patient documentation, reduce medical errors, improve safety, and give care providers the information they need to support clinical decision making at the point of care where they need it most.

“It also looks at how we capture and use information to enhance operations like purchasing, billing and communications, the security of our information, who has access, where they have access, and how fast we can restore access to it in the event of a disaster or system outage,” said Ogg.

One of Akron Children’s solutions, computerized provider order entry (CPOE), is an area evaluated in the survey and also for Stage 6. Akron Children’s has reported an overall CPOE rate of 94 percent, which includes orders for patients’ medications, tests, therapies and treatments.

With CPOE, instead of a handwritten medication order, the provider enters the order electronically and the system checks it for conflicts with other orders, other medications, the patient’s diet, allergies and other important data.  The electronic bedside medication verification system used at Akron Children’s also catches possible medication errors by verifying the clinician is giving the correct medication at the right dose and is giving it to the right patient at the right time.

The high usage of CPOE and bedside medication verification puts Akron Children’s in a category with the top 2 percent of hospitals nationwide.

“The best hospitals today have strong IT cultures and I am proud to say Akron Children’s is now in that company,” says Grace Wakulchik, Akron Children’s chief operating officer. “It’s evident by the commitment of our Board to invest $50+ million in an EMR system and other technologies, by our recruitment of a chief medical information officer (Dr. Amy Maneker), a chief nursing information officer (Pam Baker) and by the efforts of our human resources and public relations staffs to use the latest technology, including social media, to communicate with our employees, patient families and the public. The fact that we have 29 nurses now working in our IT department is another good example of the integration we have achieved between our IT department and our clinical staff, and the value we place on using technology to improve care delivery.”

The July issue of Health and Health Networks cover story detailing the results of the 2013 Most Wired Survey is available at

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Akron Children's Hospital has been named one of the country's "Most Wired" hospitals.

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