In its 19th year, Health Care’s Most Wired program continues to evolve along with the hospital field it surveys. While the topics covered by the survey reflect themes of previous surveys — including access, patient engagement and clinical integration of health data — the numbers behind the themes reflect real progress being made in those areas.

Looking at writer Rebecca Vesely’s profile of ThedaCare, which is on the Most Wired list for the 16th straight year, e-visit adoption rates for Most Wired designees climbed 10 percentage points to 37 percent. Appleton, Wis.-based ThedaCare also is one of those systems that recently began providing access via e-visits, offering video appointments online for a flat $35.

Clinically speaking, among the improving areas in the hospital field is the delivery of clinical quality measures in real time. In Vesely’s analysis of survey results, she writes that one can see 39 percent of Most Wired respondents are doing just that, an increase from 32 percent in the 2016 survey and 26 percent in 2015. In addition, more than four-fifths of Most Wired hospitals and health systems are using tools for retrospective analysis of clinical and administrative data to identify ways to improve quality and reduce costs.

Profiles of Hackensack Meridian Health, Edison, N.J., and Mason General Hospital, Shelton, Wash., offer insights as to how an urban and rural hospital might attack current health IT challenges of the day.

More than Most Wired

H&HN’s Innovation Issue was in May, but that doesn’t mean we’re finished writing about it. 

Three different stories highlight innovation this month, including an in-depth look at the American Hospital Association’s Hospital Improvement Innovation Network, a collaborative effort to do what its name implies.  

Also, our discussion with a media executive, Mick Ebeling, detailing how he tries to inspire people through a foundation he started to innovate in medicine, reaching for some very hard-to-reach solutions. 

In a follow-up of sorts to our May cover story on a Shark Tank-like approach to innovation at Providence St. Joseph Health, we highlight how Providence is spinning out its first incubated company. Renton, Wash.-based Providence hopes that the company, Xealth, will make it easier for physicians to connect patients with needed technology and other tools for good health.

Finally, this feature on kidney care offers ideas on how to help patients become more aware of the risks of renal problems. It turns out that preventive care is particularly important in kidney care, and the article by Geri Aston offers some tips in that regard.