The Association of Medical Directors of Information Systems has announced that four individual physician informaticists, a team of four physicians and a Canadian provincial healthcare organization are the winners of the 2007 AMDIS Awards for excellence and achievement in applied medical informatics.
The awards will be presented during the 16th Annual Physician-Computer Connection Symposium July 25-27 in Ojai, Calif.
The individual winners are: Ken Bertka, M.D., regional medical director of information and process services, Mercy Health Partners, Toledo, Ohio; Richard Gibson, M.D., chief information officer of the Legacy Health System, Portland, Ore.; David Lagrew, M.D., medical director and chief of staff at Saddleback Memorial Medical Center in Laguna Hills, Calif.; and George Reynolds, M.D., chief medical informatics officer and director of pediatric critical care at Children's Hospital, Omaha, Neb.
The winning team is from 43-hospital Catholic Healthcare West, San Francisco, for its CareConnect IT program. Members of the team are Richard Tayrien, M.D., vice president of clinical information systems for Catholic Healthcare West, and the medical directors of CareConnect projects at their hospitals. They are John Fust, Dominican Hospital, Santa Cruz, Calif.; Gifford Leoung, St. Francis Memorial Hospital, San Francisco; and John Umekubo, St. Marys Medical Center, San Francisco.
The three-hospital Calgary (Alberta) Health Region was named as the organizational winner for linking all three hospitals into an acute-care electronic medical-record system and central data repository serving more than 1,000 physicians and 1.2 million people.
With two of its six awards this year going to groups, AMDIS is recognizing the importance of teamwork as well as individual leadership, according to AMDIS President William Bria, chief medical information officer at the Shriners Hospitals for Children system, based in Tampa, Fla.
"We have actually always been strongly, strongly supportive of the CIO and the M.D. and teams," Bria said. "Now, with the role of the CMIO becoming more popular and more fleshed out, the idea of an evolving leadership role is becoming progressively more central to the success of EMRs. The healthcare team is a fact. It requires a team to really care for patients now. The idea of a primary-care physician is not a stand-alone any more even in the simplest of conditions."
The AMDIS awards have been given since 1997.
In addition to acknowledging a group effort, the award to the Calgary Health Region also emphasizes the globalization of healthcare IT, and the fact that some countries are taking advantage of more nationalized healthcare systems to pull ahead of the U.S. in IT adoption, Bria said. It was the first award by AMDIS to a group outside the U.S.
"The organization of healthcare in Canada is something that we continue to look atand some, fondlywith our uninsured problems and dissatisfaction. American healthcare is definitely in a crisis," Bria said.
"Teamwork is in the Canadians' set of tools. The Netherlands, Australia and Germany are other good examples of countries that have taken a strong role and said we're all going to be on the same page with standards and connectivity. We're still after that."
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