Health information technology can play a key role in improving the quality of healthcare, and the 2012 winners of the CEO IT Achievement Awards
competition are all strong advocates of leveraging technology to transform healthcare delivery. Simply implementing technology software and hardware is not enough. To bring about substantial and ongoing improvements in the quality of healthcare, technology must be an integral part of organizational strategy, accompanied by a strong implementation and change-management plan.
The 2012 winners of the CEO IT Achievement Awards are Dr. Steven Altschuler
, CEO of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia; Lynn Britton
, president and CEO of Mercy in Chesterfield, Mo.; and Richard Miller
, president and CEO of Virtua in Marlton, N.J. Each of these forward-thinking leaders has championed big changes, guiding their organizations to implement electronic health-record systems and advanced IT infrastructures with the ultimate goal of improving quality outcomes and patient care.
It begins with setting a clear vision. Implementing new technology can be highly complex and often brings with it massive changes in processes.
A strong leader and communicator is critical to bringing the entire organization onboard, helping them understand the benefits of the changes, and gaining their commitment to help make the new technology and processes a success. And the organization needs to ensure that the technology initiative is fully supported financially, too.
To be successful in making quality improvements and truly transforming care delivery, Britton maintains that, “You have to have a commitment to a financial investment. You have to make it a priority.” That financial investment, when accompanied by a strong communications plan and rollout, in the long run results in the most important return on investment of all—improved quality of care.
As Miller explains, “It's not like figuring out a balance sheet. The question is, are you improving care? Are your safety results better? When you talk to your people, do they feel that they're giving patients a better experience? If the answer is yes, you've got your ROI.”
It's that kind of focus that makes these three leaders such standouts. Making a difference is a core value to all of this year's winners of the CEO IT Achievement Awards. “Ultimately … (information technology) is a critical part of what we want to be and what we want to be known for, which is a leader and innovator in pediatric healthcare,” Altschuler says.
Modern Healthcare and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society are proud to honor these three committed and passionate visionaries. Healthcare organizations as well as the industry can learn and benefit from them and from all of the 23 other CEOs who have been recognized by the CEO IT Achievement Awards since our inaugural competition in 2003.