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MORRISTOWN, NJ OCTOBER 2010 – Atlantic Health, the parent company of Morristown Memorial Hospital and Overlook Hospital, was recently named among the top 250 innovative business technology organizations throughout the country by InformationWeek magazine, in its annual InformationWeek 500 ranking.
InformationWeek magazine, one of the premier information technology publications, examines the technology strategies and initiatives of companies from 21 industries, excluding government and education. Atlantic Health is among the small number of health care organizations that appear on the list, which is largely dominated by for-profit, multi-national companies. Atlantic Health was listed at No. 150, placing it in the prestigious InformationWeek 250, which ranks the 250 most innovative companies of those on 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 for the innovation and implementation of technology by the organization to make health care more efficient. The use of more collaborative software and tools among employees, involvement of more information technology personnel in business operations, and GPS-enabled and location-aware web applications were among the efforts that helped garner the ranking by Information Week.
“By exploring new technology, new tools and ideas in the past year, we have found new and exciting ways to make the health care experience more efficient and more comprehensive down the line, from our providers’ work to our patients’ care,” said Linda Reed, RN, Vice President, Information Systems and Chief Information Officer, Atlantic Health.
One example of how Atlantic Health implemented technology to better coordinate services occurred in blood storage for the surgical department at each hospital. Blood transfusions involve the coordination of information from different areas of the hospital – the laboratory where testing is conducted, transportation of the blood product units to the care area, the operating room where the correct item is requested and provided, and proper rotation of blood products. This often-onerous manual process depended greatly on the availability of various resources and the documentation generated at each step of the process.
To address this, Atlantic Health this year began using an automated, computerized tracking system in which operating room staff can now scan a patient’s registration number, which includes their blood type. The scanners are connected to a central computer server, which unlocks a refrigerator storage door for that specific blood type, allowing the staff to remove the correct blood product.
The system also monitors the activity and conditions of the refrigerators in order to ensure that the hospital’s blood supply is well-kept and that blood products are accounted for.
"Providing a ready supply of the right blood is as complex a responsibility as it is important, and the ability to track blood products along the process with the new computerized blood storage system has made that complexity far simpler and more secure,” said Janet Walker, manager, laboratory for Morristown Memorial.
Earlier this year, Atlantic Health was also named one of Health Care’s Most Wired organizations of 2010 by Hospitals & Health Networks magazine, the journal of the American Hospital Association. Atlantic Health was also named for a second consecutive year by FORTUNE® as one of the magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For®,”
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