The American Hospital Association's Health Forum has named West Des Moines-based UnityPoint Health a "Most Wired" Health System for the fifth year in a row.
 
Its 18th annual Most Wired survey, which recognized 414 hospitals,says that technology is improving the efficiency of care delivery and creating a new dynamic in patient interactions.

In Iowa, UnityPoint Health was among two health systems and seven hospitals recognized in the annual survey, which also named Broadlawns Medical Center in Des Moines a Most Wired hospital for a sixth consecutive year.
 
Mary Greeley Medical Center in Ames, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City and Genesis Health System in Davenport were among other Iowa organizations recognized. Also on the list are: Fort Madison Community Hospital, Grundy County Memorial Hospital in Grundy Center, Henry County Health Center in Mount Pleasant and Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids.

The hospital association said that Most Wired hospitals are using telehealth to fill gaps in care; provide services 24 hours a day, seven days a week; and expand access to medical specialists. 
 
This year's results show:
  • The top three telehealth services offered in hospitals are consultations and office visits, stroke care, and psychiatric examinations and psychotherapy.
  • Stroke care is the most rapid growth area for telehealth services, up 38 percent from 2015, as evidence-based studies emphasize the time urgency of stroke care.
  • More than 25 percent of hospitals use Internet-enabled monitoring devices for chronic disease management of congestive heart failure, diabetes and heart disease.
"The most useful tool in population health is having strong registries and reporting," said Dr. Wendy Mortimore, chief medical information officer for UnityPoint Health. "This allows us to better identify care gaps and reach out to activate our patients to receive recommended care."
 
She said UnityPoint Health's "My Chart" patient portal enables providers to connect quickly and easily with many of patients online.

Nationally, Most Wired hospitals are using technology to build patient engagement with the individual's lifestyle in mind, which includes electronic access to the care team. Some 68 percent of Most Wired hospitals accept patient-generated data through their patient portals, and 26 percent offer e-visits through a mobile application.