Berlin, Md. – Atlantic General Hospital is recipient of the
Most Wired Hospital distinction for the third year in a row. Previously bestowed by the American Hospital
Association’s (AHA) Health Forum to hospitals at the forefront of
using healthcare IT to improve the delivery of care, the awards program
has been taken over by the College of Healthcare Information Management
The awards are based on an annual survey and benchmarking study of hospitals
and health systems across the U.S. CHIME revised the survey questions
and methodology this year to highlight strengths and gaps in the industry.
The goal is to identify best practices and promote the strategic use of
healthcare IT to elevate the health and care of communities around the world.
CHIME designated Atlantic General Hospital for 2018 Most Wired recognition
at the CHIME Fall CIO Forum in San Diego.
“Receiving the Most Wired award is a reflection of the forward-thinking
culture at Atlantic General Hospital that has allowed us to implement
so many best practices in healthcare IT,” said Jonathan Bauer, vice
president for information systems at Atlantic General Hospital. “But
it is also a testament to the skill and passion of our IT team working
together with our dedicated medical staff. I cannot thank all of them
enough for their ongoing efforts.”
“Healthcare IT has the potential to revolutionize care around the
world, but to meet that potential it must be used strategically,”
said Russell Branzell, president and CEO of CHIME. “The technology
is important, but leadership and a strategic vision are equally important.
The diversity of the organizations that earned Most Wired status this
year shows quality care can be achieved almost anywhere under the right
leadership. By sharing the best practices in Most Wired, we hope quality
care will one day be available everywhere.”
A Few of AGH’s Initiatives
According to the survey, 89 percent of participating healthcare organizations
offer some form of telehealth service, but few offer focused telehealth
services such as genetic counseling or rehabilitation.
Atlantic General entered the telehealth space with 24-hour monitoring and
intervention recommendations for ICU patients in 2010 and has since expanded
the technology for partnerships with Kennedy Krieger Institute and Sheppard
Pratt to provide developmental health and mental health services, among others.
Most recently Atlantic General established a partnership with University
of Maryland’s Greenebaum Cancer Center to provide patients and the
oncologists at the Burbage 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,
followed by patients with breast cancer and other cancer diagnoses.
This fall, Atlantic General began offering genetic counseling via telemedicine
with specialists at the Greenebaum Cancer Center for patients diagnosed
with cancer or their family members, to inform treatment decisions and
assess genetic risk for cancer.
Communication and Coordination
Over the past year, Atlantic General Hospital has been upgrading the nurse
call system in its inpatient unit to improve efficiency and shorten response
time to patient requests for assistance. The project included purchase
of smart phones for nursing staff to send and receive secure messaging
related to patient care.
Over the next six months, the secure messaging on the smartphones will
be integrated with the organization’s Allscripts electronic medical
record as well as bedside telemetry equipment and the sensors on new smart
beds from Stryker. This unified communications environment will allow
clinical staff who are on-the-go to receive alerts about a patient’s
deteriorating vitals, for example, or that a patient with a high risk
of falling has gotten out of bed. It will also enable nurses to communicate
immediately with patients who have asked for help and coordinate care
with other staff.
Over the last year, the IT department at Atlantic General Hospital and
Health System has made several improvements to ensure continuity of critical
applications and reduce downtimes that require clinical staff to revert
to a paper environment. This includes transitioning more systems to remotely
hosted cloud-based solutions, expanding data storage and computing power,
and using a high speed fiber network for the remote locations to improve
performance and security.
Detailed results of the Most Wired® survey and study and a list of
the 2018 winners can be found at
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 Health Forum
The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is
an executive organization dedicated to serving chief information officers
(CIOs), chief medical information officers (CMIOs), chief nursing information
officers (CNIOs) and other senior healthcare IT leaders. With more than
2,700 members in 51 countries and over 150 healthcare IT business partners
and professional services firms, CHIME provides a highly interactive,
trusted environment enabling senior professional and industry leaders
to collaborate; exchange best practices; address professional development
needs; and advocate the effective use of information management to improve
the health and healthcare in the communities they serve. For more information,