News & Events

Backus earns national technology award

July 12, 2012

NORWICH – For the second straight year, The William W. Backus Hospital has been recognized with a Most Wired Hospitals award, which is given to only the most technologically advanced hospitals in the U.S.

Backus is the only hospital in New London and Windham counties to receive the designation, and one of only six in the state.

The others are Hartford Hospital; Yale-New Haven Hospital; Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center; MidState Medical Center; and Middlesex Hospital.

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.

Focus areas for this year’s award include:


Business and administrative management

Clinical quality and safety

Clinical Integration.

“Receiving this recognition two years in a row highlights the sustainability that we strive to achieve as we build the healthcare system of the future for the region,” said Backus President and Chief Executive Officer Dave Whitehead. “Winning awards are great, but maintaining our momentum and building on it is even more significant. I want to thank the many team members from various departments, especially Information Technology, who play a role in making Backus a leader in using technology to enhance patient care. In the end it’s not about wires and widgets, it’s about patients and people.”

Pamela Muccilli, Vice President and Chief Information Officer, said Backus sets itself apart by using technology consistently throughout its health system – from the main hospital campus to Backus Home Health Care, outpatient care locations, and extending to private physician offices. .

“Our dedicated staff – from the MIS department to clinicians on the floor and everyone in between – works so hard to use the latest technology to provide the very best patient care. A prestigious Most Wired award is a great way for their work to be recognized.”

Backus invests millions of dollars every year in technology to integrate the continuum of care in eastern Connecticut, making it easier for hospitals, patients, physicians, pharmacies and others to efficiently share information.

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, using everything from iPads to laptops.

Here are some examples of technology at work at Backus:

In the past year, Backus has made significant progress in extending the use of Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE) on its inpatient units.  This software contains evidence-based rules that alert physicians and clinicians to the best treatments for a certain condition.

“Smart” software collects clinical data electronically and forwards the information to a clinical staff member so that it may be acted on immediately, rather than weeks later when paper reports come back.

Staff use mobile devices at the bedside to collect information — including immediate test results — and provide education to patients when needed.

Bar code scanners, medication dispenser machines and a pharmacy robot ensure that the right patient is getting the right medication at the right time.

Online and hands-on “best practice” technology training is provided to staff. Examples include the use of a robotic patient simulator called SimMan; online research tools like Moseby’s to find online evidence-based practices, procedures and treatments and understand the science behind them; and providing education via HealthStream, the hospital’s online learning tool.

All patient records in the new ED in Plainfield are completely digital.