UVA Health honored for use of technology

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The University of Virginia Medical Center has earned a national award for its use of technology to help patients.

According to a release, the Most Wired award is based on a national survey of how hospitals use technology, which is conducted by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives.

The organization looks at hospitals from across the United States and asks about the use of technology in several areas, such as security, quality and safety, infrastructure, analytics, and patient engagement.

UVA earned a level eight out of 10, which CHIME says means it uses technologies and strategies to help it analyze data as well as beginning to reach “meaningful clinical and efficiency outcomes.”

The hospital earned its highest ratings in infrastructure, security, and the ability to recover information technology systems following unplanned events.

“This survey is a tool for us to see how we compare to other healthcare organizations and how they leverage technology as a strategy. It really measures what you are doing to move forward and what you are doing to be a rigorous information technology organization,” said Robin Parkin, UVA Health's interim chief information and technology officer. “This award from CHIME highlights the progress we have made as an organization, as well as the dedication of our Health IT team to support our patients and our health system.”

The release says the IT team will continue to focus on improvements that will benefit patients and providers, including developing more ways to use such technology to aid in patient engagement.

One example of the hospital's use of technology is how it now uses text reminders and requests to confirm appointments, sent to patients who are undergoing surgery or gastrointestinal procedures.

The families of surgical patients also have a choice to provide cell phone numbers on the day of their relative's procedure so they can receive updates throughout the day.

This month, there will be a five-clinic pilot will be testing texting patients who are scheduled to have outpatient clinic appointments, providing appointment reminders, and sending information on clinic locations.

The hospital says it is also looking at how to expand access to care by using telehealth technology, such as video visits with a care provider through a service called MyChart, which is UVA's secure patient portal.

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