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1998 HITS Invitation

July 1, 1998
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1998 HITS Invitation

The HITS Award recognizes healthcare organizations and software vendors for their cooperative efforts in deploying emerging technologies

July 1998 - Healthcare Informatics

These days, there’s more partnering at healthcare IT conferences than there are introductions of new products. Perhaps this is a sign of the times: a giving-in to the idea that vendors and healthcare providers must work together--not at odds--with new technology.

Thomas McNulty, senior vice president and CFO at the Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, noticed this need to connect in the healthcare industry several years ago. In response, he created the Healthcare Innovations in Technology Systems (HITS) Partnership in Technology Award in 1992. Not only does this award honor technology vendors and healthcare organizations for their efforts at teamwork, it also recognizes these teams for their use of newly emerging technology solutions for improving the quality of patient care.

"The healthcare industry is hungry for someone to put their mark out there and say, ’This is really good. It’s something you should take a look at,’" says Frank Palazzolo, HITS program chair.

According to Palazzolo, the HITS Award does just that. Last year, three provider/technology teams won HITS awards for a variety of technologies. Three more teams were chosen as runners up. The technologies developed by each team addressed a specific healthcare strategy or need: clinical pathways, outcomes management, disease management and rural healthcare.

Although today the HITS Award is sponsored by several organizations,--Henry Ford Health System, the National Managed Health Care Congress (NMHCC), and Healthcare Informatics--Palazzolo, Henry Ford’s director of IS, continues to spearhead the health system’s involvement. Palazzolo’s efforts include providing input on the award categories, helping to organize the contest and choosing the selection committee. He also helps NMHCC representatives find sponsors for the award.

This year’s award will change slightly. Instead of nominations based on the systems created (clinical, home healthcare and telemedicine), nominations will be divided by the type of healthcare organization participating. Thus, a HITS Award will go to a winner and runner up from each of the following four categories:

  • managed care organization or health plan,
  • inpatient organization (hospital, nursing home, etc.),
  • outpatient organization (physician groups, medical centers, home healthcare agencies, etc.) and
  • integrated health delivery network (consisting of elements of the other three categories).

The HITS Award has changed very little since it’s creation: "We’re trying to reward these teams for their innovations and encourage the early adoption of good technology," Palazzolo says. "That was always Henry Ford’s altruistic goal."

Teams must meet a number of criteria for their technology solutions to be eligible. Chief among the required criteria is an improvement in the quality and efficiency of patient care.

Last year, PROGNOSYS (Phoenix) and the Pediatrax Consortium (Washington, D.C.) won in the clinical systems category; Strategic Healthcare Programs, LLC (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Providence Home Infusion (Seattle) won in the home care systems category; and VitalCom (Tustin, Calif.) and St. Mark’s Hospital (Salt Lake City) won in the telemedicine category.

There is no fee to apply for the 1998 HITS Partnership in Technology Award. Fill out the nomination form (83K PDF file) and return it via fax, email or regular mail no later than August 7 to Alison Rubinfield at NMHCC:

71 Second Avenue, 3rd Floor
Waltham, MA 02154
Phone: 781-663-6516
Fax: 781-663-6425
Web site:

Lisa Paul is senior editor at Healthcare Informatics.