The nine winners of this year's annual awards for outstanding achievement in applied medical informatics from the Association of Medical Directors of Information Systems share a common theme, according to AMDIS President William Bria—they know how to employ information technology to get the patient-care improvement job done.
Putting IT to work
The AMDIS competition previously yielded as winners many physician champions who led their organizations through the perilous waters of vendor selection and systems implementation.Read profiles of the AMDIS award winners
Now the majority of the awards under the program, in its 11th year, are presented to individuals whose IT projects go beyond getting systems up and running—though there are a few of those, too—but rather, focus on using IT to drive process improvement and advance patient safety, says Bria, who is also chief medical information officer of the Shriners Hospitals for Children system, based in Tampa, Fla.
“The winners this year are men and women who have figured out how to take these tools and use them for what they're good at, to enable data collection and data reporting and process change,” Bria says.
“It's an old message about the promise of health IT,” Bria says. “It's not astounding. But it's the idea of the winners of saying, ‘What's the most important thing this tool can do?'—and then doing it. That's what the AMDIS award winners are showing now.”
The judges again this year were: Bria; Raymond Aller, director of automated disease-surveillance systems for the Los Angeles County Health Department; Bill Childs, vice president, Vitalize Consulting Solutions, Reading, Mass.; John Glaser, the outgoing vice president and chief information officer at Partners HealthCare System, Boston; Howard Landa, CMIO at Alameda County Medical Center, Oakland, Calif.; Brian Malec, professor of health administration and chairman of the health sciences department at California State University at Northridge; Blackford Middleton, corporate director of clinical informatics research and development at Partners HealthCare; and Harris Stutman, executive director of research at MemorialCare Medical Centers, Long Beach, Calif.
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