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Badlani heading for informatics post at Intermountain

By Joseph Conn
Posted: August 22, 2014 - 3:30 pm ET

Dr. Sameer Badlani, chief medical informatics officer at University of Chicago Medicine, will be heading back West to serve as chief health information officer at Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City.

Historically, Intermountain was one of the earliest developers of health information technology, dating to the 1950s and '60s, having built a home-grown electronic health record from scratch and being able to link its clinical and financial data to measure the impacts of quality improvement on costs of care.

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“I wanted exposure to a larger health system,” Badlani, 40, said. “They run 22 hospitals. And second, I wanted to get some experience around population health.”

Intermountain, one of the nation's largest integrated-delivery networks, is “already at 28% risk contracting and aims to be at 98% in the next few years,” Badlani said. “That's where the future is. I guess at the end of the day, I wanted to expand my horizons and take on new challenges.”

In 2011, Intermountain opened the Intermountain Homer Warner Center for Informatics Research in Salt Lake City, a research center named for the health IT pioneer of that earliest health IT era.

Last fall, Intermountain announced it would be switching to Cerner's clinical and financial healthcare information technology software systems across its network of 22 hospitals and 185 clinics, another challenge Badlani will face.

“Cerner is committed to working with Intermountain and a lot of innovation,” Badlani said. “For the healthcare IT industry at large, that's a good thing.”

In 2010, Intermountain released what it called a “clinical knowledge platform” after a five-year collaboration with GE Healthcare and the Mayo Clinic, which fell far short of the comprehensive, state-of-the-art clinical computing system its proponents had ballyhooed at its inception.

Badlani called it his “undefined mission to salvage as much of that as possible rather than recreate it.” Much of that effort involved workflow redesigns, which shouldn't be lost simply because of a change in vendors, Badlani said.

Badlani was recently named secretary on the board of directors of the Association of Medical Directors of Information Systems.

He said he will transition into his new job on Oct. 1. It will be a homecoming of sorts. Badlani did a three-year fellowship, including two years in medical informatics, at the University of Utah before coming to Chicago in 2006 as a hospitalist and informaticist.

Follow Joseph Conn on Twitter: @MHJConn

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