For the 18th year, Hospitals & Health Networks has named Health Care's Most Wired hospitals and health systems. This year, based on an 88-question survey, the methodology sets specific requirements in each of four focus areas. If any of the requirements in the four areas are not met, the organization does not achieve the Most Wired designation. So, an organization may have many advanced capabilities, yet not achieve Most Wired status. The four focus areas are:

  1. Infrastructure and security,
  2. Business and administrative management,
  3. Clinical quality and safety (inpatient/outpatient hospital) and
  4. Clinical integration (ambulatory/physician/patient/community).

Some of the new requirements are related to:

  • Identity management, access controls and audit capabilities.
  • Security technology safeguards and regular risk assessments and testing.
  • Automation of revenue-cycle processes.
  • Automated management systems for supply chain and use of bar code technology.
  • Enterprise decision support and business intelligence.
  • Computerized provider order entry systems for medication, lab and radiology orders.
  • Use of assistive technology with point-of-care medication administration systems.
  • Clinical decision support-enabled drug formulary checks.
  • Medication reconciliation.
  • Patient portal functionality for access to health information.
  • Summary care record for transitions of care.
  • Physician-office electronic health record connectivity for clinical documentation and e-prescribing.

This year, 680 hospitals and health systems completed the survey, representing an estimated 2,146 hospitals, which is more than 34 percent of hospitals in the U.S. The number of hospitals and health systems designated as Most Wired adds up to 363 organizations. The 2016 survey results build on the analytic structure that was implemented in 2010 after two years of redesign. H&HN uses the same criteria to name the Most Improved and the Most Wired–Small and Rural.

From a set of separately submitted essays, a panel of hospital and information technology leaders identifies noteworthy IT projects and names the Innovator Award winners and finalists. IT projects are evaluated on achievement of business objective, creativity and uniqueness of concept, scope of solution, and impact on the organization.