Christiana Care Health System earned a coveted spot on this year’s InformationWeek 500 — a list of the top technology innovators in the U.S. This is the third consecutive year Christiana Care has made the exclusive list.
The publication honored Christiana Care for creating a software program that enables safe, confidential sharing of necessary information about patients as they change caregivers (a process known as handoffs) during a hospital stay.
Hospital handoffs are episodes where responsibility for a patient passes from one health professional to another and where there is an important sharing of patient information. Studies show an estimated 80 percent of serious medical errors involve miscommunication between caregivers during patient handoffs.
“This tool not only improves communication, efficiency and patient safety; it decreases the time a doctor or nurse spends during the handoff process, permitting more time with the patient,” said Karen Gifford, director of Information Technology. “The program is unique in that clinician feedback is used to create the customizations for each area that it is used, so it continues to grow.”
Christiana Care’s software program, named eSignout, addresses the problems handoffs can cause by eliminating handwritten documents, capturing detailed patient information such as demographic data and care plans in a consistent and easy-to-view format. The tool also identifies the name of the clinician caring for the patient at any moment. That’s critical in a hospital system with teams of caregivers.
Twenty service groups are using the program at Christiana Care, and the results are significant. During implementation, there was 100 percent caregiver use and satisfaction level in less than 72 hours. Handoff times reduced more than 50 percent in the management of 300-400 hospitalized patients each day.
The eSignout program also received a 2013 Computerworld Honors Laureate award in March.
Last year, Christiana Care earned a spot on InformationWeek 500 list for its innovative Insight Program, a tablet-based, self-evaluation tool that enables patients to report the severity of their symptoms and how they affect their quality of life.
In 2011, Christiana Care made the list for its implementation of a two-part, breakthrough communications and workflow system for its emergency department. The magazine further highlighted one part of the initiative, Christiana Care’s use of large touch-screen monitors to better manage trauma rooms, in its annual “20 Innovative IT Ideas To Steal” article.
InformationWeek identifies and honors the most innovative users of information technology in the U.S. with its annual InformationWeek 500 listing, and also tracks the technology, strategies, investments and administrative practices of some of the best-known organizations in the country. Unique among corporate rankings, the InformationWeek 500 spotlights the power of innovation in information technology.