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CHIME's Top 10 Most Wired List: Smaller Players Score Big

Analysis  |  By Mandy Roth  
   November 07, 2018

Leadership and culture lead to optimal use of healthcare IT, says organization's executive.

When it comes to sophisticated information technology (IT), you don't have to be a big player to move to the head of the class. The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) just released its HealthCare's Most Wired list, and not a single health system on the top 10 has more than 3,000 beds; five had less than 1,000 beds. Four systems in the top 10, including the No. 1 rated Nicklaus Children's Hospital in Miami, Florida, operate only one hospital.

Averages for the top 10 Most Wired include:

  • The top 10 performers have an average of 7.9 hospitals with numbers ranging from one hospital (four honorees) to 36 (Avera Health)
  • Winners have an average of 1,238.5 beds with a range of 88 (Sheridan Memorial Hospital) to 2,970 (Atrium Health)
  • These systems spent an average of 5.75% of their budget on IT, calculated as fiscal year 2017 actual IT operating expense as a percentage of operating expense. Percentages among the top 10 ranged from 3.2% (Altru Health System) to 10.61% (Nicklaus Children's Hospital).

"The results show that bed size—large or small—does not necessarily equate to the optimal use of healthcare IT," says Michelle Patterson, CHIME's vice president of operations. "Many of the hospitals and health systems that performed well on the survey not only had the appropriate information technology, but also the right leadership to maximize IT’s benefits. They had a culture that allowed their IT teams to partner with the clinical and business sides of the enterprise to drive change."

Top 10 Most Wired Hospitals and Health Systems

The honor is given to hospitals and health systems that are at the forefront of using healthcare IT to improve the delivery of care. A total of 647 organizations, representing 2,190 hospitals from nine countries submitted surveys to be considered for the award; 254 were named Most Wired. The top 10 include:

  1. Nicklaus Children's Hospital, Miami, has one hospital with 309 beds and spent 10.61% of its budget on IT
  2. Baptist Health South Florida, Coral Gables, Florida, has eight hospitals with 2,226 beds and spent  9% of its budget on IT
  3. Lehigh Valley Health Network, Allentown, Pennsylvania, has five hospitals with 1,059 beds and spent 4.4% of its budget on IT
  4. Altru Health System, Grand Forks, North Dakota, has one hospital with 270 beds and spent 3.2% of its budget on IT
  5. Avera Health, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, has 36 hospitals with 1,353 beds and spent 3.3% of its budget on IT
  6. Atrium Health, Charlotte, North Carolina, has 17 hospitals with 2,970 beds and spent 5.71% of its budget on IT
  7. Sheridan Memorial Hospital, Sheridan, Wyoming, has one hospital with 88 beds and spent 8.38% of its budget on IT
  8. Cedars-Sinai Health System, Los Angeles, has one hospital with 900 beds and spent 3.3% of its budget on IT
  9. Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, has six hospitals with 2,405 beds and spent 4.27% of its budget on IT
  10. UCLA Health, Los Angeles, has three hospitals with 805 beds and spent 5.35% of its budget on IT

Top-scoring organizations in each of the Most Wired survey categories include:

Most Wired is Designed to Share Best Practices

This is the first year that CHIME oversaw the Most Wired program. Previously, the awards were handled by the American Hospital Association. According to a news release, CHIME revised and streamlined the survey to make sure questions reflect leading practices and successful, innovative uses of technology. Other changes include creating a new scoring methodology, setting a higher threshold to become a recipient, offering a comprehensive benchmarking report to all participants, and restructuring the governing board with no sitting CIOs as members to remove any perceived bias or conflicts of interest.

“At CHIME, we believe that sharing best practices nationally and globally across the healthcare IT industry will improve patient safety and outcomes everywhere,” said CHIME President and CEO Russell Branzell in a news release. “Most Wired will help us achieve that goal, and more.”

CHIME also published an industry trends report, which provides greater detail and insights into what it calls foundational technologies such as integration and interoperability, as well as security and disaster recovery. It also addresses transformative technologies, which it characterizes as population health management and value-based care, and patient engagement and telehealth. According to the report, "Before provider organizations can achieve outcomes with their strategies for population health management, value-based care, patient engagement, and telehealth, they must first ensure that foundational pieces such as integration, interoperability, security, and disaster recovery are in place.

Top 10 States With Most Wired Hospitals and Health Systems

Finally, here's a look at states with the greatest number of the 254 top performers:

  1. New York: 21
  2. Pennsylvania: 20
  3. Ohio: 17
  4. California: 14
  5. Florida: 13
  6. Michigan: 13
  7. New Jersey: 13
  8. Texas: 11
  9. Maryland: 9
  10. Wisconsin: 9

Mandy Roth is the innovations editor at HealthLeaders.

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