The Worcester County hospital is just one of two in Maryland to receive
Berlin, Md. – Atlantic General Hospital is among less than one percent of U.S. hospitals
to receive the
2017 Most Wired Hospital-Advanced distinction, bestowed by the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Health Forum.
Only two Maryland hospitals received the award, with Atlantic General
Hospital being the only one on the Eastern Shore.
The awards are based on the results of the 19th Annual HealthCare’s Most Wired® survey and benchmarking study.
The survey examines how organizations are using information technology
(IT) to improve healthcare delivery in the areas of quality and safety,
clinical integration, infrastructure and business management.
The 27 hospitals nationwide who received the Most Wired-Advanced award
were found to have exceeded core development in these four focus areas.
“Atlantic General has had the foresight to put some very innovative
programs in place to improve quality and patient experience. Health IT
has been there to help those programs operate more efficiently to provide
the best care possible for our patients.” said Andrew Fowler, vice
president of information services and CIO of Atlantic General Hospital.
“This award is a reflection of the entire organization, not just
A Few of AGH’s Initiatives
According to the survey, more than 40 percent of Most Wired hospitals provide
real-time care management services to patients at home for diabetes and
congestive heart failure. At Atlantic General, nurses in the Patient Centered
Medical Home program reach out to patients identified as being at risk
for hospital admission due to a variety of chronic conditions, to make
sure they’re taking any prescribed medication properly and have
scheduled – and plan to keep – the necessary follow up appointments
with their doctors. This risk stratification is based upon key pieces
of data within the patients’ electronic health records.
Since the survey was completed, the organization has taken the program
a step further, providing remote monitoring and supportive care services
to high-risk patients discharged from the hospital. For patients who qualify,
a tablet computer, a connecting blood pressure cuff, a pulse oximeter
to measure oxygen levels in the blood, a blood glucose monitor and a scale
to measure body weight are installed in the home. Through daily monitoring
and intervention from the care coordinators as needed, the program aims
to provide a bridge from discharge to follow-up visits with the doctor
to maintain health status and prevent readmission.
According to the survey, Most Wired hospitals are using telemedicine, or
telehealth, to fill gaps in care, provide services 24/7, or expand access
to medical specialists.
In addition to telehealth partnerships with the University of Maryland,
Kennedy Krieger Institute, and Sheppard Pratt to provide 24/7 monitoring
of critical care patients, outpatient developmental health services to
pediatric patients and mental health services respectively, Atlantic General
has partnered with Berlin Nursing and Rehabilitation Center to provide
remote consultation services for patients discharged to the center for
rehabilitation services. The program has reduced readmissions by 50 percent
over a nine-month period.
Most recently, Atlantic General has entered into a telehealth partnership
with University of Maryland Medical Center and their Greenebaum Cancer
Center to provide patients and the oncologists at the Regional Cancer
Care Center access to University of Maryland cancer specialists for consultations
and care plans for more difficult cancer diagnoses.
The first to benefit from this telehealth partnership have been patients
with lung nodules or suspected lung cancer who are connecting with thoracic
surgeons at University of Maryland for pre- and post-operative consultations.
Other programs in place during the time of survey include biometric identification
of patients during the registration process to improve patient safety
and patient experience, secure texting for medical staff and clinicians
for better communication, and sharing of secure electronic medical records
through the Maryland and Delaware health information exchanges to facilitate
regional care coordination of shared patient populations.
“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.”
Detailed results of the HealthCare’s Most Wired® survey and study
can be found in the July issue of
Health & Hospitals Networks. For a full list of winners, visit
About Atlantic General Hospital
Atlantic General Hospital has been providing quality health care to the
residents of Worcester, Wicomico, Somerset (Md.) and Sussex (Del.) counties
since May 1993. Built by the commitment and generosity of a dedicated
community, the hospital’s state-of-the-art facility in Berlin, Md.,
combines old-fashioned personal attention with the latest in technology
and services. It provides quality specialty care such as weight loss surgery,
orthopedics, outpatient infusion for individuals with cancer or blood/autoimmune
disorders, retina surgery and a comprehensive women’s diagnostic
center. Atlantic General Health System, its network of more than 40 primary
care providers and specialists, care for residents and visitors throughout
the region. For more information about Atlantic General Hospital, visit
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
About Health Forum
Health Forum is a strategic business enterprise of the American Hospital
Association, creatively partnering to develop and deliver essential information
and innovative services to help health care leaders achieve organizational
performance excellence and sustainability. For more information, visit