Atlantic Health System has been named for a fourth consecutive year as one of the top 250 innovative business technology organizations throughout the country by InformationWeek magazine, in its annual InformationWeek 500 list.
InformationWeek identifies and honors the nation's most innovative users of information technology with its annual 500 listing, and also tracks the technology, strategies, investments, and administrative practices of America’s best-known companies.
Atlantic Health System, the parent organization of Morristown, Overlook and Newton Medical Center, and Goryeb Children’s Hospital, was listed at No. 194, placing it in the prestigious InformationWeek 250, a ranked selection of the top companies from the larger 500 list. Atlantic Health System was the only hospital system in New Jersey to be ranked among the Top 250, and one of only three included in the full 500 list.
To make the list, a company must demonstrate a pattern of technological, procedural, and organizational innovation. The magazine recognized Atlantic Health System for the innovation and implementation of technology by the organization to make health care more efficient.
AHS’s greatest innovative feat in the last year involved the very heart of its IT infrastructure, a move that reduced the operation’s physical and energy footprint, as well as costs.
Between 2011 and 2012, the organization relocated its primary data center from its longtime location in Morris Plains, to a new site in Piscataway. This occurred amid other monumental tasks - a 6-month project to upgrade and replace the majority of Newton Medical Center’s IT systems, following the merger that brought the hospital into the AHS family in 2011; and meeting the requirements for state and federal health care IT initiatives such as “meaningful use” implementation of electronic health records.
By utilizing two new products, VMware, which allowed AHS to virtualize its servers, and data de-duplication technology provided by EMC, the organization was not only able to relocate the data center with minimal disruption, but also reduced the need for physical servers, as well as the amount of physical floor space by nearly 3,500 square feet, and a reduction in power usage from 275kw to 150 kilowatts, both of which led to estimated financial savings.
“The most challenging situations can sometimes offer the perfect opportunity to innovate and improve, and in the last year, our team met each task head-on and brought IT operations to a higher level throughout Atlantic Health System,” said Linda Reed, RN, Vice President, Information Systems and Chief Information Officer, Atlantic Health System.
For this year’s rankings, InformationWeek also asked companies whether they were pursuing social networking strategies and implementing mobile technologies. In 2011, Atlantic Health System re-launched Facebook and YouTube pages for each of its hospitals, featuring the new “medical center” names unveiled last year. Atlantic Health System also launched the “Well Aware – Your Way” blog (atlantichealthblog.com), an open forum for patients, employees and friends of its hospitals to foster a discussion about issues related to hospital experiences and current health topics. In addition, the company redesigned its entire website, atlantichealth.org, which now displays mobile-friendly. The organization also developed a mobile site to allow smart phone and tablet users to more easily connect to pertinent information about Atlantic Health System.
Atlantic Health System is among a small number of health care organizations that appear on the list, which is largely dominated by for-profit, multi-national companies. Companies in the “Healthcare and Medical” industry comprise only 12 percent of the Top 250, and 13 percent of the total list.
“The InformationWeek 500 has recognized the most innovative users of business technology for 24 years, and this year’s innovations were particularly impressive,” said InformationWeek Editor In Chief Rob Preston. “What the editors looked for are unconventional approaches—new technologies, new models, new ways of grabbing business opportunities and solving complex business problems with IT.”
InformationWeek magazine, one of the premier information technology publications, examines the technology strategies and initiatives of companies from 21 industries, excluding government and education.