For the seventh 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 every year. And, as many readers know, the concept of team-based recognition, which began with the 2009 edition of the program, has now encompassed five full sets of multiple winning teams that our publication has recognized for their achievements across a very broad range of areas.
Our first-place winning teams have had a diverse range of accomplishments to note:
- In April 2009, we honored our first first-place-winning team, the clinician and IT leaders at Detroit Medical Center (Harper-Hutzel Hospitals) for their innovative work overcoming challenges particular to the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) environment, in implementing a closed-loop medication administration system in the Hutzel Women’s Hospital NICU.
- The following year, we called out the achievements of the leadership team at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh (part of the 20-plus-hospital UPMC health system), for their co-development with a vendor partner of a clinical information system that made instantly available to intensivists all the key vital signs and other data on the patients in their ICU, in order to speed their clinical decision-making.
- In 2011, we felt compelled to honor George Reynolds, M.D. and his colleagues at Children’s of Omaha, for their broad initiative around data-driven performance improvement, organization-wide, through the facilitation of data analytics and point-of-care dashboards.
- In 2012, we highlighted an extraordinary initiative on the part of senior officials at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, one that has created a data reporting and physician alert infrastructure that is helping New York City’s primary care physicians—most of them practicing in very small practices—to participate in population health, city-wide.
- The physician and clinical IT leaders at NorthShore Medical Group, part of the NorthShore University HealthSystem in Evanston, Illinois, caught our attention in 2013, with their Undiagnosed Hypertension Project, which harnessed the organization’s EHR to screen for and evaluate patients with previously undetected hypertension.
- And in 2014, we recognized Catholic Medical Partners, a Buffalo, New York-based network of more than 900 independent physicians, for their region-wide population health management initiative.
Among the other winning teams:
- Leaders at Chester County Hospital in West Chester, Pa., for their leveraging of business process management techniques to automate the clinical processes around infection control notification
- Southeast Texas Medical Associates, for its leaders’ leveraging of their core EHR for disease management and patient-centered medical home purposes
- Leaders at the Colorado Beacon Consortium, a Grand Junction-based collaborative of four healthcare organizations, encompassing physicians, a hospital, a health plan, and a health information exchange, who leveraged a leading-edge clinical decision support tool in conjunction with advanced HIE architecture, to pursue population health management across an entire region of that state
- In adversity-tested New Orleans, healthcare leaders at the Louisiana Public Health Institute and Crescent City Beacon Community, for their groundbreaking work focusing on the communication of transitions of care, to improve health status for an underserved population in that city and region
- Marshfield Clinic’s pioneering dashboard application that allows physicians to view real-time, usable data across their entire patient population, in order to participate in population health efforts.
Now, here’s the thing: 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.