Northern Michigan hospital put technology-centric patient care at the forefront of building design for new hospital addition

ECRI has named Petoskey-based McLaren Northern Michigan the winner of its 16th Health Technology Excellence Award for its integration of patient-care technologies into new hospital construction. McLaren facilitated collaboration among various technology vendors to streamline the delivery of information to care providers and to make a better, more informed experience for patients through the optimized flow of clinical information.

ECRI presents its annual award to the member facility that has carried out the most exceptional initiative to improve patient safety, reduce costs, or otherwise facilitate better strategic management of health technology.

“As the nation’s largest patient safety organization, ECRI places high value on initiatives that put patients and innovation at the center of healthcare,” says ECRI’s president and CEO Marcus Schabacker. “For these reasons, we are pleased to honor McLaren Northern Michigan for their forward-thinking achievements.” 

The award-winning submission described the regional hospital’s expansion plan to build 200 private patient rooms, a range of clinical care areas, plus pharmacy and sterile processing services. More than new physical spaces, the addition was designed to build the safest and most advanced integrated patient experience. 

This goal required the involvement of a wide range of vendors, including companies that provide high-quality solutions within specific areas of expertise, namely nurse call, patient monitoring, staff communications, electronic medical records, real-time locating systems, patient safety, virtual nursing, patient education, Internet Protocol television (IPTV), and patient interaction and entertainment.

“We put considerable thought into which technologies would be used in those spaces, how those technologies would interact with one another, and what implementation measures would be required to ensure that the technologies functioned well together,” says Rich Reamer, regional manager of clinical engineering at McLaren Health Care. 

To succeed with their clinician/patient-centric vision, McLaren needed to select product solutions that used an open architecture as well as vendors who would collaborate in connecting different systems. The initial meeting with vendors was a critical first step. Together, they developed an integrated system offering nine total systems working in either total integration, or in support of safety and quality outcomes for the hospital’s patients. 

“In many aspects, creating a healing environment is just as important as treating and caring for our patients,” says Chad Grant, chief operating officer at McLaren Health Care. “The innovation and follow through displayed by the McLaren Northern Michigan team to develop and implement these technologies were truly remarkable and deserving of this recognition, and it affirms our forwarding-thinking mentality in developing a patient-centric experience at our facilities.”

ECRI received award entries from hospitals in the United States, as well as internationally, including from Columbia, India, Pakistan, New Zealand, and Canada. For more information about the McLaren Northern Michigan initiative, see The Health Technology Excellence Award: Recognizing Exceptional Health Technology Management