Detroit VA is Most Wired in 2015 - John D. Dingell VA Medical Center, Detroit, Michigan
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John D. Dingell VA Medical Center, Detroit, Michigan

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Detroit VA is Most Wired in 2015

Keith Jones using the Detroit VA’s WiFi.

Keith Jones, a Detroit VA patient, uses the Detroit VA’s WiFi for many tasks while he visits the medical center.

By Natalie Henderson, Detroit VA Public Affairs Intern
Tuesday, July 21, 2015

For the last few years, the Detroit VA Healthcare System has participated in the Hospital and Health Networks “2015 Most Wired Survey and Benchmarking Study”.

The survey took place January 15, 2015 through March 15, 2015, and asked hospitals and health care systems to share their IT initiatives. Jonathan Small, Facility Chief Information Officer at the Detroit VA, entered the medical center into this initiative five years ago. Since then, the medical center has gone from “Most Improved” to “Most Wired” four years in a row.

“It was a great start for us to come into the program in 2011, and win ‘Most Improved’ but winning Most Wired’ every year shows the improvements of the medical center,” said Small.

According to Small, based on the award criteria, the numerous updates to medical center technology have far surpassed other VA facilities. The IT initiatives Small and his team entered this year were Tele-health, Telespirometry, and Internet access for patients. Tele-health allows video conferencing for patients who are unable to come to the medical center for care. Telespirometry allows doctors to monitor patients’ respiratory care remotely. Many patients with asthma use this system.

Announcement for the new free Wi-Fi for patients.

One of the more popular initiatives this year, according to the Detroit VAs IT chief, was the installation of WiFi for patients and guest.

Patients’ favorite new update is the installation of Wireless Internet throughout the medical center. The Wi-Fi network, named “Thank You Vet” is accessible in the medical center where Veterans are receiving care. Keith Jones, a Marine Veteran, uses the Wi-Fi connection for information. “When I’m here, I go online to My HealtheVet to look up my meds. I also research my diagnoses.” This multi-million dollar project had contractors on-site for 3 months to install over 500 wireless access points making the Internet convenient.

Small does plan on participating again next year with a few new IT initiatives. One initiative for next year’s survey is the launch of Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record, or VLER. This program allows VA and Non-VA health care providers to securely share health records electronically.

“As an award winning medical center, we continue to grow and expand our technological efforts,” said Small. “Everything we do is for the patients so we use technology to stay progressive.”

For more information and a full list of winners visit: http://www.hhnmag.com/Magazine/2015/July/Cov-Most-Wired-hospitals-list-main-1

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