Health Care’s Most Wired Survey results
The 17th Annual Health Care’s Most Wired Survey results detail the industry’s continuing efforts in information technology (IT) optimization and connectivity. Conducted by the American Hospital Association, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives and Hospital & Health Networks (H&HN), the survey and benchmarking study is an industry-leading barometer on information technology use and adoptions among hospitals nationwide.

The H&HN article reports that hospitals continue to increase their IT efforts to keep up with federal standards for meaningful use of health IT. The push toward value-based payments, population health management and cost-efficiency also weigh heavily in hospital IT investments. More than 39 percent of U.S. hospitals responded to the survey and 338 hospitals were named Most Wired. Thirty-six hospitals were named Most Wired–Small and Rural.

Other survey highlights from those named Most Wired include:

  • Ninety-six percent use intrusion detection systems.
  • In 76 percent of the organizations, physicians use a portal and electronic health records (EHRs) to exchange test results with other EHRs and health information exchanges.
  • Eighty-nine percent offer access to a patient portal through a mobile application.

Also this week:

Free guide on health care facility compliance
The Information Guide: Healthcare Code Compliance written by David Stymiest, PE, CHFM, CHSP, FASHE, helps health care facility managers understand the myriad compliance challenges facing health facilities. The guide covers expanded and overlapped code requirements, code conflict and anticipated resolutions, newer codes and standards changes that affect hospital operations, and a breakdown of accrediting organizations.

FGI to publish design guide for behavioral health
TheDesign Guide for the Built Environment of Behavioral Health Facilities is moving its online home from the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems to the Facility Guidelines Institute (FGI) and is now available on its website. FGI officials say that it is expanding its mission to go beyond fundamental facility design requirements.

HHS awards public health preparedness grants
Health & Human Services will award more than $840 million in cooperative agreements to health departments across the country to improve and sustain emergency preparedness at the state and local levels. The cooperating agreement funds will be distributed through the Hospital Preparedness Program and the Public Health Emergency Preparedness programs. 

Researchers develop world’s most sensitive superbug detection test
Researchers at McMaster University have developed a new way to detect the smallest traces of metabolites, proteins or fragments of DNA. The new method can pick up any compound that might signal the presence of infectious disease, such as hepatitis C, Clostridium difficile and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

Hospital groups urge court to overturn NLRB decision
The AHA and the Federation of American Hospitals filed a brief urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia should overturn a National Labor Relations Board decision permitting an incumbent union at a hospital to organize only a small portion of the bargaining unit’s unrepresented nonprofessional employees. The decision casts “long-standing principles aside,” permitting piecemeal organization that subjects hospitals to “serial organizing and bargaining, and all of the attendant disruption that brings,” the brief states.

OSHA issues temporary enforcement policy for confined spaces
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) announced a 60-day temporary enforcement policy of its Confined Spaces in Construction standard, which becomes effective Aug. 3, 2015. The agency is postponing full enforcement of the new standard to Oct. 2, 2015, in response to requests for additional time to train and acquire the equipment necessary to comply with the new standard. During this 60-day period, OSHA will not issue citations to employers who make good faith efforts to comply with the new standard.