Eastern Maine Medical Center Named 2016 Most Wired for Using Technology for a Better Patient Experience

07/11/2016

Technology is improving the efficiency of care delivery and creating a new dynamic in patient interactions. As a recipient of the 2016 HealthCare’s Most Wired® Award from the American Hospital Association, Eastern Maine Medical Center is leading the way by introducing new, interactive technology that benefits patients in the recently-opened Penobscot Pavilion.

“Technology always progresses at a rapid pace, but the past year has been especially notable for EMMC,” says Jennifer Fogel, RN, BSN, director of Nursing Systems. “With the opening of the new Penobscot Pavilion, EMMC has implemented several technological innovations that change the way that providers coordinate care and patients interact with staff.”

The new private patient rooms in the Penobscot Pavilion feature MyStation, which allows patients to view educational videos assigned to them by nurses to learn more about their disease or procedure. The system also enables them to view their current medication list and allergies and access the internet.

CareAware Connect provides nurses with immediate notice of alerts and alarms right on hospital-owned smartphones, wherever they are on the unit. All calls placed by the patient using their nurse call device ring to the nurse’s phone, which is expected to improve response time and care coordination. The phones also notify nurses of new lab results and doctors’ orders.

The versatility of mobile technologies makes it possible for clinicians and care team members to have the right tools for sound clinical decision-making wherever they are, but sometimes the most effective communication tools are the simplest, and signage still plays an important role in conveying information to the care team. The Penobscot Pavilion has electronic signage that replaces the need for many forms of paper communication. Previously, instructions to staff about a patient’s condition, such as a need for isolation precautions, were communicated to staff through paper signs. Now, this information is available on a screen outside of patient rooms, and it is always accurate and up-to-date.

“Ultimately, the quality of care provided comes down to the human touch – a nurse, technician, therapist, or doctor using their skills to expertly care for a patient – but this new technology sets a standard that will benefit patients and staff,” adds Fogel. “These advancements will be incorporated throughout the hospital in future years so all patients and staff can benefit.”

EMMC is one of only 11 hospitals in Maine to be named Most Wired in 2016. HealthCare’s Most Wired® survey, conducted between January 15 and March 15, 2016, is published annually by Health & Hospitals Networks (H&HN). The 2016 Most Wired® survey and benchmarking study is a leading industry barometer measuring information technology (IT) use and adoption among hospitals nationwide.