If you’ve been watching “The Knick”—Cinemax’s hot new medical series starring Clive Owen, and executive produced and directed by the award-winning Steven Soderbergh—you know what it’s like to have been a doctor or a patient in 1900. Not fun! Every time I watch an episode, I thank my lucky stars that I live in an era where lifesaving technology has advanced to such a tremendous degree.
And yet, for all the recent progress in health and healing, not all hospitals are on the cutting edge. And so I also thanked my lucky stars lately when I learned that my hometown hospital—Rancho Mirage’s Eisenhower Medical Center—was named for the third year in a row to Hospitals & Health Networks magazine’s esteemed “Most Wired” list. And by “Most Wired,” we’re not talking about an institution where the physicians, nurses, and assorted support staff are amped up on caffeine to stay awake and alert during those long shifts. No, we’re referring to the fact that the hospitals on this particular honor roll have all “met a set of rigorous criteria across four operational categories…[and] have made tremendous gains by using IT to reduce the likelihood of medical errors.”
Indeed, in this age of e-everything, when information—files, figures, images—can be shared at lightning speed and safely stored forever, it’s good to know that EMC—the only hospital in the entire Palm Springs Valley to make the cut—is at the vanguard. To give you just one example, “Most Wired” hospitals match medications to a particular patient, nurse, and order with a bedside bar code. Eisenhower Medical Center has been doing just this very thing for more than nine years. If that doesn’t make you sleep better should you ever have to spend the night in an EMC hospital bed, I don’t know what will.
So, sincere thanks to all the powers-that-be at Eisenhower Medical Center for ensuring that gains in technology are used to provide better patient care. My wish is that none of us should ever need the hospital’s services. But isn’t it a comfort to know that if any one of us ever does, at least we’ll be treated at a facility that represents the clinical crème de la crème? www.emc.org