MORRISTOWN, NJ – NOVEMBER 2013 – Atlantic Health System, one of the largest not-for-profit health care systems in New Jersey, has been named for a fifth consecutive year as one of the top 250 innovative business technology organizations throughout the country by InformationWeek magazine, in its annual InformationWeek 500 list.
InformationWeek identifies and honors the nation’s most innovative users of information technology with its annual 500 listing, and also tracks the technology, strategies, investments, and administrative practices of America’s best-known companies.
Atlantic Health System, the parent organization of Morristown, Overlook and Newton medical centers, and Goryeb Children’s Hospital, was listed at No. 211, placing it in the prestigious InformationWeek 250, a ranked selection of the top companies from the larger 500 list.
To make the list, a company must demonstrate a pattern of technological, procedural, and organizational innovation. The magazine recognized Atlantic Health System for the innovation and implementation of technology by the organization to make health care more efficient and accessible.
Among Atlantic Health System’s numerous information technology accomplishments, the system last year undertook an expansive project to give physicians the ability to remotely access important data.
“Our focus for IT in health care is not only to ensure that our health care providers are using the best technology, but to make it easier for them to access and use that technology in ways that ultimately produce a better experience and outcome for the patient,” said Linda Reed, RN, Vice President, Behavioral and Integrative Medicine and Chief Information Officer, Atlantic Health System.
The project, by Atlantic Health System’s Information Services and Support Division, involved designing and implementing a new Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). VDI offers a means to provide physicians with robust access to clinical and diagnostic information, electronic medical records and practice management applications. In addition, ISS packaged standard desktop applications and departmental file shares to provide full functionality mirroring the experience that doctors would have in hospital.
The virtual desktop also operates on any device and operating system, allowing physicians to carry the program on their own devices, making the program even more accessible. With a simple user interface, a virtual Atlantic Health System desktop is available on a physician’s device of choice anytime, anywhere, in a highly secure environment.
Another of Atlantic Health System’s IT initiatives has been to develop a comprehensive mobile health strategy, which involves both developing and acquiring mobile apps that will help physicians and staff provide care and engage patients in the care they receive. The first app that has been developed and piloted is one that allows physicians involved in the Atlantic Accountable Care Organization to send referrals to Atlantic Health System’s centers of excellence. Another app will soon be piloted allowing physician-to-physician referrals.
Atlantic Health System is also a founding member of Jersey Health Connect, one of four state grant funded Health Information Exchanges in New Jersey. The HIEs provide collaboration between hospital systems and physician organizations to efficiently exchange data in order to enhance care coordination. Information technology is a large component of this mission, and the approach of Jersey Health Connect, unlike other HIEs, is to allow doctors and health systems to network by using their existing digital infrastructure to avoid high costs and to minimize disruption of operation. The HIE allows member hospitals and organizations to access and update information about patients within the network.
InformationWeek magazine, one of the premier information technology publications, examines the technology strategies and initiatives of companies from several industries, excluding government and education. The InformationWeek 500 is open to companies with revenue of $250 million or more (or subsidiaries of parents with $250 million or more in revenue). This year, the magazine made a few exceptions to allow companies just below that revenue that are highly IT-intensive.
To be considered for the InformationWeek 500, qualifying companies must complete a rigorous application on their business technology strategies. The process is both quantitative and qualitative, whereby applicants earn points based on their responses to a questionnaire, and are also evaluated based on the achievements they outline in an essay submission. Completed applications are reviewed by a panel of InformationWeek editors who determine the final ranking by factoring in both the quantitative results and qualitative judgments.