News & Events

Backus earns ‘Most Wired’ Hospital Award

July 11, 2011

NORWICH – Backus Hospital Monday was awarded a “Most Wired Hospitals” award, which is given to only the most technologically advanced hospitals in the U.S.

Awarded by the American Hospital Association’s healthcare publication, “Hospitals & Health Networks,” the “Most Wired” designation recognizes hospitals that effectively implement technology to enhance patient safety, clinical quality and customer service.

Backus is the only hospital in eastern Connecticut to receive the designation in 2011, and one of only seven in the state. The others are Yale-New Haven Hospital; Hartford Hospital; Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center; MidState Medical Center; Bridgeport Hospital and Greenwich Hospital.

Focus areas for this year’s award include:

  • Infrastructure
  • Business and administrative management
  • Clinical quality and safety
  • Care continuum


“This is a very significant accomplishment for our organization,” said Backus President and Chief Executive Officer Dave Whitehead. “It took many dedicated people from many different departments, collaboration with physicians and a lot of hard work to earn this designation. I want to thank everyone who has been involved in this ongoing initiative to use technology as a tool to deliver the best care possible to our patients. In the end it’s not about awards, it’s about our patients. This award merely recognizes these patient-centered efforts.”

Pam Muccilli, the hospital’s Vice President and Chief Information Officer, said one reason Backus earned the Most Wired distinction is because of its use of technology in multiple settings — in the hospital, at Backus Home Health Care, in offsite health centers and outpatient care settings and by connecting with physicians and other community health providers, Ms. Muccilli said.

The hospital has invested millions of dollars in computer technology over the past several years, she said, and the goal is to create a fully integrated electronic medical record at Backus, its offsite locations, in the community and, eventually, connecting worldwide.

Electronic medical records allow clinicians to safely and efficiently order medications and tests, access patient records wherever they are and share information on a secure network. Clinical staff can use everything from iPads to laptops.

Examples of technology at work at Backus include:

  • Collecting clinical data in real-time and act on it immediately, rather than weeks later when paper reports come back.
  • Using mobile devices at the bedside to collect information — including immediate test results — and providing education to patients when needed
  • Using technology to ensure that the right patient is getting the right medication at the right time through bar code scanners, dispenser machines and a pharmacy robot
  • Monitoring patients’ vital signs from a central location on a hospital unit
  • Providing technologically enhanced translation and sign language services
  • Providing online and hand-on “best practice” technology training to staff. Examples include use of a robotic patient simulator called SimMan; researching online tools like Moseby’s to find online evidence-based practices, procedures and treatments and understand the science behind them; or completing education on HealthStream, the hospital’s online learning tool.