HealthLeaders Media IT - March 4, 2008 | Case Makes His Case
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Case Makes His Case
Gary Baldwin, Technology Editor

During his keynote speech at last week's HIMSS conference, Steven Case made one very pointed observation. When it comes to managing their own healthcare, the AOL founder said, "consumers have shirked their responsibilities. It is their responsibility to take more responsibility for their own health." That's a concept you don't hear much at healthcare conferences, particularly those with an IT focus like HIMSS. But Case has a good point. For many consumers, healthcare is something that is done to them, not something they participate in actively. [Read More]
March 4, 2008
Editor's Picks
Hitting the suite spot
This article details the progress that the county hospital in Noblesville, IN is making toward clinical automation. I heard CIO Randy Cox describe how Riverview Hospital implemented four new major systems, using what he called a "best of suite" approach. Later Randy and I caught up in person, and he shared even more detail of the ambitious, 3-year project. It's presentations like Randy's that make the HIMSS a stellar event. Here's a little known hospital, with modest resources, embracing wholesale change and somehow managing to pull it off. Randy explains in an audio feature how he reached out to department leaders to put in writing the type of system they needed--and also map the various workflow scenarios they would support. All in all, a compelling story of how a small IT shop can facilitate major change by knowing when to get out of the way. [Read More]

Allina on a roll
One piece of conventional wisdom around healthcare IT implementations is that "big bang" deployments--the rapid, broad conversion to new systems--are too risky. However, for Allina Hospitals and Clinics, an 11-hospital, $2.53 billion integrated delivery system based in Minneapolis, the big bang approach has worked well. Allina was the winner of the HIMSS Davies Award. During the presentation, Allina executives described their strategies going in, what worked, and what needed to be tweaked. It's a large scale version of what Randy Cox talked about above, but both stories shared similar components. Key among them: Don't underestimate the capacity for change on the part of the medical staff and clinicians. It was a key driver of Allina's "big bang" approach. [Read More]

Carrot and stick
This presentation by Partners Health Care in Boston drew one of the biggest crowds I saw at HIMSS (aside from the keynotes). I guess people were intrigued by the notion of 100 percent physician adoption. Through a combination of carrots (managed care contracts to reward physicians for using EMRs) and sticks (an eventual mandate), Partners met its goal. [Read More]

Vanderbilt among Microsoft winners
I helped judge the Microsoft Health Care Users Group awards program this year. This brief highlights the winners. The contest may not be quite the draw of the Davies Award, but it spotlights the wide array of projects taking place. Unlike Davies, which honors more widescale deployments, the Microsoft contest attracts all kinds of niche IT applications. I know it is easy to dismiss these contests, but I can tell you that the organizations entering them take them quite seriously. I judged nearly 40 entries. Tiresome, yes, but not nearly the effort that the projects represent. [Read More]
Tech Headlines
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Creating sustainable local health information exchanges
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Network lets Tennessee doctors share patient info
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New York City to help doctors track patients' records electronically
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    Audio Feature

    HIMSS 2008: IT Makeover: Randy Cox, chief information officer at Riverview Hospital, Noblesville, IN, describes how he enlisted department leaders to define what they needed in an enterprise IT makeover.
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