For the eighth year in a row, we at Healthcare Informatics have chosen to once again open our website to submissions to our Innovator Awards Program. As always, it is a great privilege and pleasure for us to sponsor this program. And as many readers know, the concept of team-base recognition, which began with the 2009 edition of the program, has now encompassed six full sets of multiple winning teams that our publication has recognized for their achievements across a very broad range of areas.
In 2015, we honored four teams of pioneers, at Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic (Toppenish, Washington); Texas Children’s Hospital (Houston); the Children’s Health Alliance (Portland, Oregon); and the Bon Secours Medical Group (Richmond, Virginia). Each of these teams has done something extraordinary in innovating in healthcare, whether it is designing highly effective population health management programs for Medicaid managed care populations, applying population health strategies to pediatric populations, optimizing specialized surgery care processes for children, or engaging in intensive care management techniques to engage a medical group’s patients.
- Caring for about 130,000 area residents annually, leaders at the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic (YVFWC) led by CEO Carlos Olivares, have invested heavily to leverage IT and analytics to provide YVFWC physicians with real-time, data-driven dashboards to help the doctors successfully execute population health management in a Medicaid/disadvantaged population care delivery and payment environment.
- At Texas Children’s Hospital, clinician and IT leaders have achieved pioneering breakthroughs in standardizing and optimizing care delivery in the critically important area of appendicitis care and appendectomy delivery. They have been optimizing processes around pediatric appendectomy, seeking to standardize clinical practice and improve patient outcomes in that crucial area.
- Children’s Health Alliance, a not-for-profit association of 100-plus independent primary care pediatricians in the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area, is supporting an initiative that is providing pediatric practices with population health tools; the alliance’s leaders have developed a population health risk assessment methodology that risk-stratifies children with chronic health conditions, informed by an assessment of medical complexity, patient functioning, and family factors.
- The leaders of Bon Secours Medical Group have created a patient-centered medical home environment in which advanced information systems are gathering data from different sets of clinical and payer data to provide preventive care for high-risk patients. Technology alone though is not enough to create change. BMSG has invested in employing dozens of nurse navigators, who work at large and at individual practices and help to appropriately navigate the care for specific high-risk patients.
Meanwhile, with innovation spreading like wildfire across the U.S. healthcare delivery system, there’s no question that the number of examples like all these that are out there just waiting to be recognized is multiplying rapidly. At a time when efforts to improve care quality and patient safety, restrain costs, reduce avoidable readmissions, and apply the concepts of accountable care, bundled payments, value-based purchasing, population health, and the patient-centered medical home, as well as efforts to optimize revenue cycle management and materials purchasing, are all advancing nationwide, the opportunity to publicize team-based achievements is greater than ever.
So this is your official note of encouragement. Please consider submitting an entry describing the achievement or set of achievements that a team at your provider organization (hospital, medical group, integrated health system, health information exchange, public or community health entity, or health plan) has been able to demonstrate and document. (Please be aware that we will not accept any submissions from representatives of vendor firms; the submissions must come directly from patient care/healthcare organizations.)
The winning teams will be featured in the January/February cover story package in Healthcare Informatics, and will be honored at our Innovator Awards reception, to be held on the evening of Tuesday, March 1 in Las Vegas, during the annual HIMSS Conference. More details about the reception will be available soon on this website.
At Healthcare Informatics, we are honored to be able to showcase these kinds of case studies; the achievements that they articulate embody the core of what we hope to encourage in U.S. healthcare today. At a time of unprecedented change in healthcare, there has never been a better moment for the showcasing of such innovations. Please consider submitting an entry to our program, and good luck in your entry!