Fort HealthCare has once again received the distinction of Most Wired™ Hospital for 2017. This recognition is awarded by the national magazine Hospitals & Health Networks (H&HN) every year to select hospitals across the country via results of their Most Wired™ Survey. The survey was conducted between January 15 and March 15, 2017. Fort HealthCare is one of 16 hospitals in Wisconsin to receive this honor.

The 2017 Most Wired Survey and Benchmarking Study is a leading industry barometer measuring information technology (IT) use and adoption among hospitals nationwide. Detailed results of the H&HN Healthcare’s Most Wired survey and study can be found in the July issue of H&HN. For a full list of winners, visit

The survey of 698 participants, representing an estimated 2,158 hospitals — more than 39 percent of all hospitals in the United States — examines how organizations are leveraging IT to improve performance for value-based health care in the areas of infrastructure, business and administrative management, quality and safety, and clinical integration. The survey is conducted in cooperation with the American Hospital Association (AHA), McKesson Corp., AT&T, and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives – an executive organization dedicated to serving chief information officers and other senior healthcare IT leaders.

To receive a Most Wired distinction, an organization must demonstrate advancement in steps taken to implement robust clinical information systems aimed at improving patient care. This includes adopting technologies to improve patient documentation, advance clinical decision support and evidence-based protocols, reduce the likelihood of medication errors, and rapidly restore access to data in the case of a disaster or outage. The survey has become a national inventory on hospital use of IT to improve operations and patient care.

One reason for Fort HealthCare’s excellence in IT is its close alignment with health care informatics leader, Cerner Corporation. Fort HealthCare and Cerner first began their journey together in 2009, when Fort HealthCare entered a 10-year, strategic alignment with Cerner ITWorksSM.

During the past year, the Fort HealthCare and Cerner team has implemented digital connections that allow for patient data sharing with non-Cerner Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and provide transparency for Fort HealthCare physicians. To date, the hospital has signed up almost 33,000 patients through the CommonWell Health Alliance, an organization that promotes health care information sharing.

Fort HealthCare continually works with Cerner to modify and improve its EHR system and online patient portal, which is branded MyCompass. MyCompass allows individuals to manage and monitor their health and wellness, review test results, schedule appointments, securely message their provider, track immunizations and medications, request prescription refills, and more.

As of January 2017, MyCompass also incorporated the OpenNotes® feature into the user interface, making it a place where portal users who are logged into their own EHR can review the visit notes their provider shared regarding their plan for care. The EHR system encompasses more than 50 individual Cerner solutions, which all work to support Fort HealthCare’s goal of improving patient care and patients’ experiences.

 Fort HealthCare’s MyCompass Patient Portal and Cerner EHR tools work together to provide Fort HealthCare clinicians and patients with improved healthcare experiences. To learn more, visit

The Most Wired Advantage

Technology is a strong component of a high-quality healthcare delivery system and helps empower patients to be an even stronger partner in their own healthcare. Technology – in the form of EHRs, mobile technologies, and secure data collection – makes it easier for patients and providers to interact with each other, which improves communication and understanding about health conditions and treatments. New interactive tools are helping patients become more actively involved in their care and maintaining their health.

The Most Wired Survey reports that Most Wired hospitals are using smart phones, telehealth, and remote monitoring to create more ways for patients to access health care services and collect health information for monitoring and reporting trends. Fort HealthCare’s development teams keep these tools in mind when planning for future advancements in communication, patient engagement, and helping to improve patients’ overall health.

According to H&HN magazine, having a strong functionality in healthcare technology has the ability to transform care delivery because of the knowledge gained from data collection and analysis. Understanding, through data, how your healthcare organization measures up in terms of quality scores, keeping costs down, and maximizing access to care for your population all help keep the organization and the people it serves healthy and running optimally.

Health data is also very helpful for identifying the health needs of a community in terms of interventions, programs, and services that may be needed to help improve certain patient groups’ health (i.g. patients with diabetes or heart disease, etc.). To get patients the right care, healthcare clinics and hospitals are using predictive modeling to reduce the prevalence of certain chronic health conditions.

The Most Wired Survey results also showed:

  • 76 percent of hospitals offer secure messaging with clinicians on mobile devices.
  • When patients need ongoing monitoring at home, 74 percent use secure e-mails for patients and families to keep in touch with the care team.
  • 68 percent simplify prescription renewals by letting patients make requests on mobile devices.
  • 62 percent add data reported by patients to the EHR to get a better picture of what is going on with the patient.
  • Nearly half of the hospitals surveyed are using telehealth to provide behavioral health services to more patients.
  • 40 percent offer virtual physician visits.
  • More than 40 percent provide real-time care management services to patients at home for diabetes and congestive heart failure.

AHA President and CEO, Rick Pollack, notes, “The Most Wired hospitals are using every available technology option to create more ways to reach their patients in order to provide access to care. They are transforming care delivery and investing in new care delivery models to maximize the benefits for all involved.”

The AHA notes that innovation in patient care embraces emerging technologies and underscores the need for secure patient information exchange. Hospitals have increased their use of sophisticated IT monitoring systems to detect patient privacy breaches, monitor for malicious activities or policy violations, and produce real-time analysis of security alerts.

The Future of Health Care

Fort HealthCare President and CEO, Mike Wallace, states, “The future of health care is changing; good health is all about prevention. We are continually working on ways for our providers and programs to deliver the best possible care both effectively and efficiently for our patients and their families. Being able to provide the interactive tools that we offer to both clinicians and patients, as well as the integrity and quality of the health data that we are able to collect, help maximize our effectiveness in our mission to make our communities the healthiest in Wisconsin.”

Wallace adds, “A healthy community has a great lasting impact on the future of a society. It’s our goal to keep people healthy, out of the hospital, seeing their primary care providers for routine and preventive healthcare, and knowing that these efforts are an investment in our communities’ futures. We are certainly still here to help you when you need us, but we’re working on ways to help you be healthy at home and at work and enjoying life.”

The AHA notes that while many hospitals and health systems across the country have the technological pieces in place to drive efficiencies and improve both care and the patient experience, but they still have room to further integrate systems and processes and to conduct population health management.

The AHA also acknowledges that now more than ever, hospitals are using data and analytics to foster a culture of self-improvement; they are strengthening patients’ ability to obtain, use, and share their own data and records securely, and they are offering innovative access to care through secure messaging, telehealth, and mobile app services. Hospitals are also taking cyber-security seriously with frequent system audits and staff trainings.

Fort HealthCare Executive Director of Population Health, Chris Barron, R. Ph., states, “The largest advances we’ve made are the ability to use data and analytics to prove to patients, providers, payers, and regulatory agencies, the high quality care we deliver. And more importantly, act on that data to further improve care delivery and decrease cost for all.”

Barron continues, “This idea of improved quality equates to saving lives through timely, preventive screenings, as well as improved chronic condition management and working toward the best possible outcomes for our patients and preventing unnecessary hospitalizations. Sophisticated analytics tools, and patient outreach tools like MyCompass, work together to engage patients in their care.”

Barron adds, “Fort HealthCare, in partnership with Cerner, was one of the first organizations to deploy sophisticated population health analytics tools to identify gaps in care – in real time – delivering actionable intelligence to providers. We are now able to better deploy our resources where they are needed to close these gaps in care with patients. The future is now at Fort HealthCare.”

Fort HealthCare

Fort HealthCare is committed to improving the health and well-being of our communities, with a vision to be the healthiest community in Wisconsin. As the leading healthcare provider in the region, it is our goal to reach as many members of the community as possible with health and wellness messages, providing tools and resources to help individuals improve their health and quality of life, while collaborating with several partners to positively improve the population’s health overall on a long-term basis. For more information, visit


Cerner’s health information technologies connect people, information and systems at more than 25,000 provider facilities worldwide. Recognized for innovation, Cerner solutions assist clinicians in making care decisions and enable organizations to manage the health of populations. The company also offers an integrated clinical and financial system to help health care organizations manage revenue, as well as a wide range of services to support clients’ clinical, financial and operational needs. Cerner’s mission is to contribute to the systemic improvement of health care delivery and the health of communities. For more information, visit

 CommonWell Health Alliance

CommonWell Health Alliance is a not-for-profit trade association of health IT companies working together to create universal access to health data nationwide. CommonWell members represent two-thirds of the acute care EHR market and more than one-third of the ambulatory care EHR market2, as well as market leaders and technology innovators supporting care settings such as post-acute care, imaging, perinatal, laboratory, retail pharmacy, oncology, population health, emergency services and more. CommonWell and its members are committed to the belief that provider access to health data must be built into information technologies at a reasonable cost for use by a broad range of health care providers and the  populations and people they serve. To learn more, visit

American Hospital Association

The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the health improvement of their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks, other providers of care and 43,000 individual members. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the AHA website at

About Health Forum Health Forum is a strategic business enterprise of the AHA, creatively partnering to develop and deliver essential information and innovative services to help health care leaders achieve organizational performance excellence and sustainability. For more information, visit