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One-on-One with HIMSS Analytics CEO Dave Garets, Part II

April 9, 2008
by root
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In this part of our interview, Garets talks more about leveraging benchmarking, and whether or not CIOs can ‘game’ the survey.
Dave Garets, CEO of HIMSS Analytics, is an industry insider if there ever was one. With decades of experience, Garets has unique perspective on where the industry has come from and where it’s going. Recently, HCI Editor-in-Chief Anthony Guerra had a chance to chat with Garets (a member of the magazine’s editorial board), about where the industry stands in its drive to reduce paper.

Part I

AG: Are there other ways CIOs can leverage the information (from HIMSS Analytics benchmarking)?

DG: We’re seeing an uptake of it that is dramatically higher this year than it was last year and higher last year than it was the year before. We had a bunch of very large healthcare organizations, which blew me away, coming into the booth in Orlando saying we’ve got to get our data (into the model), especially when we showed the stage six hospitals on the wall of our booth. There are 11 of them in the United States that we have validated already. It turns out that there is probably twice that many. But we didn’t have good enough data on the other 11 to be able to put them on the list. So when you start saying here are the top 11 healthcare organizations in the U.S., at least from our perspective, that are at the highest level of the EMR adoption model, it becomes something competitive.

We had a bunch of CIOs coming in and saying, ‘We think we’re there, but we have to get you decent data so that you can tell us whether we’re there or not.’ I think it’s an important for healthcare organizations themselves because you can't be creating strategies within a vacuum. And what you don’t want to do, if you're a CIO, is you don’t want to be out there on the bleeding edge unless your organization is a bleeding-edge organization, and most healthcare organizations aren’t. You want to do what's rational. By the same token, you don’t want to be lagging very far either because it’s a competitive environment.

So I’m happy that CIOs are into using this tool to help them figure that stuff out because that’s what it does. What's nice about this particular tool is that it’s a census of the acute care hospitals in the United States. It’s not a sample survey where we've interviewed 150 of them and then extrapolated it out for the whole country. There is date from 5,073 hospitals in this thing. This is a census survey.

The other place that I think it could be used more is by governments. We’re seeing some response in Canada (because we’re doing it in Canada as well) from the Ministries of Health saying, ‘Wait a minute, we want to know where our organizations are in our providences so that we can have policy decisions that make sense, we can start spurring growth where we think it needs to be spurred,’ etc., etc., We haven't seen the same kind of response from the U.S. government or the states looking at where they are. We can produce EMR adoption model scores for states. There are all kinds of ways to slice and dice the data to help a whole lot of constituents figure this thing out.
AG: You have down 5,073 as the number of hospitals in the survey, correct?

DG: Yes.

AG: Do you have any idea what the total of number of hospitals in the U.S. is?

DG: It depends on what kind of hospitals. There are rehab hospitals and stuff like that. Most of those are not in the database. We don’t have the federal hospitals in there either. We’re working on that very hard. That’s VA and DOD, Indian health services, and those kinds of folks; they're not in there either. These are the acute care medical/surgical facilities in the U.S.

AG: How many of those do you think are missing?

DG: I don’t think there is any missing.

AG: So you're saying you have everyone in there for the acute care medical/surgical facilities in the U.S.

DG: That is correct. We added over 1,100 hospitals to the database last year. It was huge, and most of them were under 100 beds. Medical/surgical hospitals are in the database, that’s what we’ve gone after, and then there are some specialty places like heart hospitals, cardiology hospitals, children’s hospitals are already in there. Anything that’s a medical/surgical hospital is in the database.

AG: You mentioned that some CIOs came up to you from large organizations and said we have to get our data in there. What is the process? What could you tell to our readers that want to get in there that just aren’t sure what they're supposed to do?