Tips for participating in CHIME’s Digital Health Most Wired program and survey

June 20, 2024 |  CIO, C-level, Healthcare IT

Tips for participating in CHIME’s Digital Health Most Wired program and survey


In 2018, the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) began the process of transforming and refining the Digital Health Most Wired Survey to elevate the program to its current state as a strategic planning resource. Each year, CHIME receives over 40,000 surveys, and by adjusting their survey annually by 10%, they ensure focus on new topics permeating the healthcare industry.

Recently, I was able to join fellow presenter, Jim Veline, former CIO of Avera Health, along with moderator, Christine Parent, Associate Vice President, MEDITECH in a webinar, ‘From Insight to Impact: Confidently Build a Winning Digital Strategy’. Here, I shared some tips and advice about my own participation in the Digital Health Most Wired Survey as CIO of North Country Healthcare.

North Country Healthcare comprises three critical access hospitals and a home health agency that unified as one organization in 2015. In December of 2020, we adopted MEDITECH Expanse as the single EHR across all of our affiliates. North Country Healthcare is now using the Most Wired Survey to propel our organization forward and provide the best care possible for our patients, successfully scoring either a seven or eight every year we’ve participated.

For the last three years I have operated not only as the CIO but as a project manager of the survey process at North Country Healthcare. This role has given me the opportunity to see first-hand what an organization can do to most effectively identify technology that is successfully being used and determine areas in need of more attention in terms of health IT adoption. 

Our findings

Participating in the Digital Health Most Wired survey for the first time can seem a daunting undertaking. Our first year completing the survey totaled to 40 hours because we had yet to determine who in our organization was best equipped to take on the role of leading this project. But every hour was time well spent because I quickly discovered that the value of the Most Wired survey is not entirely encapsulated in completing the survey or achieving a certain status, but in the opportunity to learn more about your own organization. 

As we became more knowledgeable about the survey and began to streamline the process, the need for open communication was admittedly our biggest takeaway. At North Country, we recognized the importance of being aligned as a team and were pleasantly surprised that the survey itself helped facilitate this as we moved forward. 

When taking on the survey as an organization, it is important to complete resource identification first and make an active effort to get on colleagues’ calendars. I conducted personal interviews in each department and prioritized identifying a subject matter expert, who we quickly realized, may not always be in a leadership role. 

The survey is released annually at the start of April, so after our first year participating in the process we learned to focus our energy on having the previous year’s survey completed and up to date to minimize the time spent on the survey overall. This ensured that we were prepared when the latest survey was released, and could dedicate our time to the adjusted 10%.

Now having completed the survey the past few years, I have viewed this process as a maturity index of how North Country Healthcare, or any given organization, is meeting the evolving needs of the healthcare industry. Regardless of the organization’s survey results, participating in the Digital Health Most Wired is a great measure of the things an organization is already doing well and more importantly, an opportunity to discover what it can be doing better. 

With a renewed focus on relationship building and open communication, North Country Healthcare has fostered mutual respect and understanding between departments using CHIME’s Digital Health Most Wired survey. This survey is the path forward for digital transformation in this new era of healthcare information technology, and we look forward to our continued learning and growth in this process.

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Written by Darrell Bodnar, BS, CPM, CPHIMS, CIO, North Country Healthcare

Darrell Bodnar, BS, CPM, CPHIMS is the Chief Information Officer at North Country Healthcare. He oversees the integration and standardization of the healthcare organization’s MEDITECH Expanse EHR across its three critical access hospitals (Androscoggin Valley Hospital, Upper Connecticut Valley Hospital, and Weeks Medical Center) and North Country Home Health and Hospice Agency. He works in close collaboration with hospital leaders throughout the organization to develop and execute NCH’s strategic plan and vision to develop a clinically integrated and financially sustainable system for all hospitals and providers to address population health and to improve health indicators for area residents.