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Top Healthcare Innovators, Policy Watch, Staffing Issues

January 31, 2011
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What does it take to be an innovator in healthcare today? This month's cover story package beginning on page 10, profiles the top three winners of HCI's 2011 Innovator Awards: Children's Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha (page 11), Southeast Texas Medical Associates (page 16), and HealthInfoNet, Maine's statewide HIE (page 21). Each organization provides a unique perspective, and together exemplify leadership across a broad range of dimensions. On the cover: Children's of Omaha Innovator team, front, from left to right: Vicky Boone, M.D., and Wendy Worthing; middle, from left to right: George Reynolds, M.D., Nancy Knowles, M.D., and Carl Gumbiner, M.D.; back: Jared Rothfuss.

As the 112th Congress gets down to work, the article on page 26 takes a look at what healthcare policy advocates say are topics they will be following most closely this year, as well as a few “sleeper” issues that could have a big impact.

For insight on how hospital executives are dealing with their fluctuating staffing needs, turn to the story on page 32, which examines how hospitals are leveraging clinical and other key data to optimize staffing as they address their single biggest operating cost: labor.

The article on page 36 describes the emerging role of the chief technology officer, who in many larger organizations is assuming the day-to-day challenges of information technology, as CIOs focus on broader strategic development.

Northwest Permanente has developed an in-house panel support tool to help physicians improve their patient care. In the first segment of a two-part interview beginning on page 40, two of the support tool's developers discuss its genesis and the benefits it has provided to the organization's physicians.

On page 46, Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D., director of the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (and who will the closing keynote speaker at HCI's Executive Summit, to be held this May in San Francisco), shares her views on current developments in healthcare, and her agency's involvement in pursuing innovation and change.

In an interview beginning on page 56, Amy M. Gordon, a partner in the healthcare reform and HIPAA practice groups of the Chicago-based law firm McDermott Will & Emery shares her expertise on what healthcare providers should do to make sure they comply with evolving regulations.

Healthcare Informatics 2011 February;28(2):6

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