Patient portal helps secure repeat Most Wired acclaim

Three hospitals in the Carle health system again achieved the highest national ranking for using technology to manage health information and patient care. Hospitals & Health Networks (HHN) magazine recognized Carle Foundation Hospital for the sixth year in a row, Carle Hoopeston Regional Health Center for the fifth consecutive year, and this year Carle Richland Memorial Hospital adds this distinction.

The Carle hospitals join only 366 out of more than 2,100 U.S. hospitals surveyed as part of 2017 Most Wired.

“Patients experience a tremendous level of electronic access in other industries and expect the same level of service and ease from their healthcare providers,” said William Schuh, MD, chief medical information officer at Carle.

Many of these advances balance the need for fast, accurate access to medical information with the need for top-notch security measures.

Electronic Medical Record (EMR) is a prime example of tackling complex medical technologies with an accessible, efficient system. Carle’s EMR interfaces with numerous systems and allows both providers and patients to track progress related to care. On the back end, EMR information also helps make sure Carle meets quality standards and alerts providers to potential issues so they can act earlier with better outcomes for the patient.

But physicians are not the only ones who benefit from this and other technological improvements. Some patient benefits include:             

  • MyCarle patient portal lets patients schedule/cancel appointments online with their physician 24/7 from their phone, computer or tablet and have access to medical records and results.
  • Emergency room and Convenient Care wait times on Carle.org

“We are releasing lab tests, radiology and cardiology results to patients within 48 hours of completion. Normal test results can be even faster,” said Mike Sutter, chief innovation officer at Carle.

Carle uses analytics to improve quality of care, such as lowering readmissions rates. Technology helps improve screening for depression and diabetes. Care coordinators have access to improved data to manage high-risk patients more efficiently.

These technology enhancements have decreased Carle’s mortality rate, which remains low.

While providers and patients both increasingly demand timely information and a breadth of high-tech tools, security of health information remains a priority. Leaders know this is no time to rest on our laurels.

Coming soon is an Indoor Positioning Technology and Location-Based Service (wayfinding) to provide turn-by-turn navigation to guide patients from the parking lot to their appointment.

“Those who stay ahead with technology in this industry will have patients choosing them, and we want them to choose Carle,” Dr. Schuh said, adding continual advancement is vital.

“Health care remains a very personal profession. Even with the use of technology, it is the personal touch and attention to each patient’s needs that distinguishes our organization. I feel Carle has the unique blend of top technology and the heart of caring people.”

About Most Wired

Most Wired recognizes demonstrated excellence in IT implementation and innovation. It rewards hospitals and health systems that are leveraging information technology to improve clinical and financial performance for value-based health care and implementing IT strategies essential for future delivery systems.