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H. Stephen Lieber HIMSS president and CEO
H. Stephen Lieber HIMSS president and CEO

HIMSS salutes honorees

Altschuler, Britton, Miller used IT strategically


By H. Stephen Lieber
Posted: June 9, 2012 - 12:01 am ET
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Health information technology continues to lead the way to better healthcare delivery, a statement exemplified by the three CEOs selected as the recipients of the 2012 CEO IT Achievement Awards. I am honored to congratulate these individuals who have guided their healthcare organizations to consistent quality and service with the strategic use of health IT.

The 2012 winners 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. These executive leaders understand the benefits of health IT for their respective organizations as they inspired their staff members to provide the best in patient care and patient safety, and at the same time reduce medical errors.

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Since the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society and Modern Healthcare introduced this award in 2003, meaningful use, mobile technologies and clinical and business analytics have become part of our health IT lexicon. The 26 recipients of this award, including Altschuler, Britton and Miller, have been able to integrate the business of healthcare with the enduring mission of delivering consistent and quality patient care.

Last year in this column, I highlighted the introduction of meaningful use, then at Stage 1. Now, almost halfway through 2012, the CMS and Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology are reviewing comments for Stage 2 of meaningful use, and for standards and certification criteria of electronic health-record products. The ONC is drafting governance rules for the Nationwide Health Information Network. The deadline for compliance with ICD-10 coding may be extended by a year to October 2014. And the U.S. Supreme Court, as of publication, continued to consider the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

In just one year, the EHR incentive program for meaningful use has about 90,000 eligible professionals and 2,250 hospitals, or 42% of eligible hospitals, successfully participating in the program, according to the CMS.

Mobile devices have moved beyond the basics of enabling conversations between friends and family. According to Quantia Communications, 30% of physicians use smartphones and tables for patient care. Thus, the engagement and inclusion of patients in their care is no longer a “when,” but a “now.”

What's ahead for health IT, once the technology systems are in place and healthcare organizations operate in paperless, interoperable environment with patient health information immediately accessible from just about any location? Understanding and using the data within health IT systems is the next step along this continuum of quality care.

Once again, congratulations to the three recipients of the 2012 CEO IT Achievement Awards. Their accomplishments and dedication set a valuable standard for improved patient care and quality, one that HIMSS supports as the largest cause-based, not-for-profit organization focused on the best use of health IT for improving healthcare.


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