SIOUX FALLS — Avera earned national recognition as a technology leader as it has been named one of the nation’s Top 10 Most Wired organizations in health care. In addition to the Top 10 ranking, this is the 19th time Avera has received the Most Wired honor.

As a Top 10 winner, Avera was recognized on stage Friday at the national College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) Fall CIO Forum in San Diego, Calif. “To be named in this elite list of Top 10 organizations is a real testament to Avera’s commitment to information technology excellence,” said Jim Veline, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Avera. The top 10 were presented awards in a ceremony open to the conference. Those 10 hospitals did not know their exact rankings until the presentation.

Avera’s rating was based on a 100-point scale, and the health system earned marks in the 99th percentile overall, including the areas of population health and patient engagement. These observations in the survey were among the many reasons that Avera received these high honors among the 647 organizations surveyed, representing 2,190 hospitals from nine countries for the 2018 survey.

Just 254 sites received Most Wired honors. Avera was the sole South Dakota-based health system to be named Most Wired in the 2018 survey.

The survey noted a number of wide-ranging trends in health care technology, including the use of foundational technologies such as integration, interoperability, security and disaster recovery, and the use of transformational technologies to support population health management, value-based care, patient engagement and telehealth. These foundational pieces need to be in place for an organization to leverage tools to effectively transform health care.

“Our wealth of experience over the past two decades, with a distinct commitment to technology and a team to make that commitment a reality, those are the reasons why Avera remains among the nation’s Most Wired health systems,” Veline said. “We were credited with constantly expanding services for patients including our fully integrated electronic health record. The people who make those systems work are at the heart of earning these honors. It takes a unique team that collaborates and innovates at once, with professionals from top to bottom, system-wide.”

Other innovative uses of technology at Avera include:

• A fully integrated electronic medical record across the continuum of care, regardless of location or patient need that also is conveniently accessed at bedside computers;

• A “virtual visit” platform known as AveraNow, through which patients can see an Avera provider 24/7 through their mobile phone, tablet or computer, or at specially equipped kiosks in Sioux Falls Hy-Vee stores;

• Use of smartphones with secure messaging, allowing hospital care staff to receive instant monitor alerts and physician orders;

• An easy-to-use patient portal, AveraChart, through which patients can access their medical records and message their care team.

“Robust security measures and effective administration of our informatics teams across our system are among the nation’s best,” Veline added. “Within the vast rural area we serve, we’ve made significant strides toward improving access to specialists in both urban and rural settings. We’ll continue to innovate the way we use and incorporate health care information technology as we honor our mission and our customers.”

“At CHIME, we believe that sharing best practices nationally and globally across the health care IT industry will improve patient safety and outcomes everywhere,” said CHIME President and CEO Russell Branzell. “Most Wired will help us achieve that goal, and more.”

This is the first year the survey was published by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME). CHIME acquired the annual survey from the American Hospital Association in July 2017, and it is an executive organization dedicated to serving senior health care IT leaders. With more than 2,800 members based in 51 countries, the organization provides a highly interactive, trusted environment where health care can improve the communities it serves.

Detailed results of the survey and study can be found at

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