We're on the verge of the 21st century, and healthcare organizations are gearing up for the times with new gadgets, gizmos and computer systems for more efficiency.
The three winners of the second annual Innovation in Healthcare Information Technology Awards are adapting established technology to integrate information systems, collect patient information with hand-held personal computers and issue patient data cards.
The awards, sponsored by MODERN HEALTHCARE and Cisco Systems, a company specializing in the routers and switches used in building computer networks, recognize healthcare organizations that use information technology to meet current and future needs. Winners were chosen in three categories: return on investment, patient-care impact and innovation.
The return-on-investment category recognizes an organization whose use of information technology best illustrates benefits supported by financial documentation. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Health System wins this award for integrating its hospital information systems, which will result in projected three-year savings of about $4 million.
The patient-care impact category recognizes a healthcare organization that measurably improved health outcomes and patient care by using information technology. IPC-The Hospitalist Co., based in North Hollywood, Calif., receives this award for its IPC Link project, which helps provide patients with seamless treatment when hospitalists are involved in their care. Hospitalists enter patient-care information into hand-held personal computers and send the data to patients' primary-care physicians.
The innovation category honors an organization that uses information technology to solve problems creatively. Memorial Health Services in Long Beach, Calif., wins this award for its patient medical access and information card program.
Each award recipient receives a $5,000 donation to its foundation or its chief executive officer's charity of choice.
This year's judges were:
* Suzanne Carter, chief information officer of the North Bronx (N.Y.) Healthcare Network.
* Mary Finlay, corporate director of information systems at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston.
* David Jaffe, executive director and CEO of Seattle-based Harborview Medical Center.
* Tom Martin, CIO of Harborview.
* Joseph Orlando, executive director of Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, New York.
* Jeffrey Otten, president of Brigham and Women's.
* Patricia Skarulis, vice president and CIO of Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago.
Except for Skarulis, the judges for this year's program are representatives of last year's winning organizations.