Two Geisinger Hospitals Ranked Among Newsweek’s World’s Best Smart Hospitals

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Geisinger Medical Center and Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center made Newsweek’s 2021 list of World’s Best Smart Hospitals for their commitment to innovation and advancement in health care.

Only 250 hospitals worldwide were recognized, and Geisinger Wyoming Valley and Geisinger Medical Center ranked 119th and 149th, respectively. They are among only seven hospitals recognized in Pennsylvania and just 89 hospitals selected in the United States. Both medical centers are the only hospitals in their service areas to make the list, and they’re the only two Pennsylvania hospitals recognized outside of Philadelphia or Pittsburgh.

Ranked hospitals were evaluated on five criteria: digital surgery, digital imaging, artificial intelligence (AI), telehealth and electronic medical records.

More than 13,000 votes from hospital managers and health care professionals with backgrounds in health care technology were considered, and every nominated hospital was thoroughly researched and validated by a team of analysts at Newsweek.

Geisinger has long embraced utilization of technology to improve quality of care, catalyze research, and make communication with providers and use of services easier for the patients and members it serves.

Robotic-assisted surgeries allow a higher degree of precision, smaller incisions, less scarring, less pain and discomfort, and the ability to treat areas difficult to reach with the human hand. At Geisinger, the da Vinci Surgical System® is used for less-invasive general surgery, colorectal surgery, thoracic surgery, surgical oncology procedures, OBGYN procedures and urology surgery. Mako® robotic arm-assisted surgery is used to perform partial and total knee replacements and total hip replacements, and Geisinger is the sole provider of Mako joint replacement surgery in the region it serves.

“We value the use of digital systems in our surgical procedures because we know more precise, less invasive surgery leads to better outcomes and shorter recovery times for our patients,” said Ron Beer, chief administrative officer for Geisinger’s northeast region. “We’re honored to be among Newsweek’s World’s Best Smart Hospitals, because it’s a reflection of our continued effort to provide the best possible care, closer to home, for our patients and members.”

Advanced imaging is used in a variety of diagnostic and surgical procedures at Geisinger. These include the cardiac catheterization labs where severe heart attacks and other cardiovascular issues are identified and treated swiftly, and the Comprehensive Stroke Centers — namely Geisinger Medical Center and Geisinger Wyoming Valley — that care for patients with complex strokes and neurovascular conditions.

A robust electronic medical record and advancements in AI and machine learning are at the heart of research initiatives to detect risk of conditions like atrial fibrillation (A-fib) and even death. An innovative ECG Analysis Platform to detect A-fib risk, developed by Tempus in collaboration with Geisinger, was granted Breakthrough Device Designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration earlier this year. Geisinger is also using AI to improve imaging accuracy, diagnosis and follow-up care. A collaboration between Geisinger and Medial EarlySign to predict hospital admissions and complications was recently named runner-up out of more than 300 entries in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services AI Health Outcomes Challenge.

Telemedicine has been a critical tool in some areas of care delivery for years at Geisinger, but the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic accelerated use of the technology across the system. Since March 2020, Geisinger has enhanced its capability to conduct telemedicine visits and now offers telehealth consultation in 72 specialties.

“When the pandemic began, we expanded our telemedicine capacity to keep our patients safe by making sure they were able to keep their primary care and regular specialty appointments without exposure to COVID-19 infection,” said Megan Brosious, chief administrative officer in Geisinger’s central region. “We already knew telemedicine works, but we’ve learned it has more applications than we thought, has vast potential to reveal new and innovative ways of caring for our patients and members, and aligns with our vision of making better health easier for the communities we serve.”