For more than a decade, the editors at Healthcare Informatics have honored teams of leaders at patient care organizations for their innovations in leveraging healthcare IT to improve patient outcomes, control costs, enhance the effectiveness of clinicians, and improve patient and community satisfaction. Every 2015 Innovator Awards winning team has acknowledged at least one partnership with a forward-thinking vendor partner.
So this year, for the first time, we, the editors at HCI have chosen to recognize healthcare IT vendor companies themselves, through a new program that we’ve named the Healthcare Informatics Leading Edge Awards. A number of healthcare IT vendor companies responded to our call for the submission of entries in the categories of clinician workflow improvement, interoperability, and cost savings.
And now, after a careful review by neutral judges drawn from the membership of Healthcare Informatics’ Editorial Advisory Board, we are able to announce the winners in each of the three categories: Imprivata, Inc. (workflow improvement), Loop360 (cost savings), and Splunk Inc. (interoperability).
In the following pieces, you will hear from senior executives at those companies articulating their sense of mission around what they do, and offering their perspectives on the future of vendor innovation in healthcare IT. Thank you to all the vendor companies that submitted entries this year, and congratulations to the winning organizations! We are delighted to honor these organizations, and look forward to sponsoring next year’s Leading Edge Awards as well.
--The Editors of Healthcare Informatics
The 2015 winner in the category of Workflow Enhancement is Imprivata, Inc., the healthcare IT security company, based in Lexington, Massachusetts. Omar Hussain, president and CEO of Imprivata, spoke with Healthcare Informatics about the importance of provider productivity, why Imprivata’s mission is to never lose a customer, and the challenges of creating meaningful systems in an ever-changing industry.
Healthcare Informatics: Tell me a little about Imprivata’s mission as a company.
Omar Hussain: Our mission is to improve provider productivity. At the end of the day, as healthcare continues to adopt technology, you see that productivity often takes a major hit. And that hit impacts patient care and patient outcomes. Think about it: when a hospital adopts a new technology, providers often become less productive. They spend less time with patients and more time with these new systems. And if you want to improve patient outcomes, you need to find ways to help providers spend more time with their patients.
The healthcare industry is going through a major transformation when it comes to technology. And while there are a lot of long-term benefits, you’ll see a lot of wasted time in the short term. Providers have to spend a lot of extra time with clinical systems, with accessing patient information they need, with communicating patient information with other providers. So addressing provider productivity challenges is a vital opportunity to improve patient care and patient outcomes—and by focusing on clinical workflow, we can help ensure that technology is helping instead of hindering the quality of care.
Healthcare Informatics: What are some of the biggest challenges that your clients face regarding clinical workflow?
Hussain: Traditionally, healthcare has been a paper-based industry. That’s changing now. But when you go from paper to an electronic system, one of the biggest pain points is accessing patient information, whether you are talking about adding information to a chart or looking up lab results. Because of regulations around patient privacy and safety, accessing patient information requires a username and a password. And you have to do that secure log-in every time you want to access any type of patient information. So if you’re a doctor or a nurse, you might have to do that log-in multiple times in a single hour—every time you move from room to room.
That one simple thing is getting in the way of giving care. So what Imprivata does is improve that entire clinical workflow. It allows providers to focus on care. Because all that physician has to do is walk up to the computer, swipe a badge or put a fingerprint down, and they can instantly access the data they need. They don’t have to go searching for it. They don’t have to find different applications. They can customize their desktop—even as they move from workstation to workstation. And they don’t have to worry about shutting their session down. Imprivata will do that for them. Taken together, that seamless workflow results in a huge savings of time. It improves productivity of the entire clinical staff tremendously—because they don’t have to spend 20, 40 minutes per shift just trying to adjust patient information.
Healthcare Informatics: What role did clinicians play in developing that workflow?
Hussain: Here is one thing that sets Imprivata apart as a company: We don’t want to just throw technology out there, we want to build great products. We do our best to make the right investments and really understand what the problems are. We work closely with our customers—directly with the users—to understand how, where and why they use these systems. What is it they want to see? What do they need to see? How would they like to see it?