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CHIME Hands out Innovation, Leadership Awards at Fall CIO Forum

November 2, 2016
by Rajiv Leventhal
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The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) gave out awards for health IT innovation and transformational leadership at the CHIME16 Fall CIO Forum on Nov. 2. 
First, Phoenix Children’s Hospital CIO David Higginson received CHIME's Innovator of the Year Award for leading a Lean initiative yielding significant cost savings, as well as operational and patient experience improvements. According to a CHIME press release, instead of spending millions of dollars on a patient education and entertainment system, Phoenix Children’s Hospital moved to put customizable iPads in patient rooms, allowing patients and their parents to access a host of services, including clinical results, discharge instructions, educational resources about their treatment and more. One-time costs for the initiative were covered by a grant from the James M. Cox Foundation, allowing the hospital to shift resources to other areas. Part of the hospital’s Connected Patient initiative, the iPad experience has been so successful that it is now being commercialized for other hospitals, CHIME stated. 
"When you are faced with the choice of building a new emergency department to replace one that is seeing three times the number of patients it was built for, or spending $100 million on a piece of software, the answer seems obvious – find a way to do the system for a reasonable amount and leave the capital for the direct needs of the patients and families we serve,” Higginson said in a statement. “Our success is simple. We keep the patients highest need first and foremost and that keeps us motivated to negotiate better deals on what we have to buy, or find creative ways to accomplish a better result using different products and tools.”
At Higginson's patient care organization, every IT software and services contract has been renegotiated or switched to a lower-price vendor, leading to $4.5 million in annual savings when compared to 2011 contract costs. Phoenix Children’s also built a new enterprise data warehouse, allowing 300 daily users to get real-time data from 60 different IT systems. And, the hospital recently finished an 18-month implementation of an ambulatory EHR, which has helped a 30 percent improvement in patient throughput at some clinics. Higginson also led a process improvement team that redesigned workflows, saving $2 million per year.
Innovation takes many forms,” noted CHIME President and CEO Russell Branzell. “It isn’t always about shiny new gadgets. As David has shown, innovative leadership is about inspiring the best in your staff, encouraging creative solutions and continually pushing forward to do what is right for patients.”
Meanwhile, also at the Fall CIO Forum on Nov. 2, Pamela Arora, senior vice president and CIO at Children’s Health in Dallas, and Bryan Bliven, CIO at the University of Missouri Health Care were each awarded the 2016 Transformational Leadership Award.
In response to healthcare' ongoing cybersecurity conundrum, recognizing that smaller provider settings don’t always have the resources to bolster their security systems, Children’s Health is helping them better understand the threat landscape. Through a HITRUST program called CyberAid, the hospital also works with small practices to find cost-effective cybersecurity solutions.
“For an organization like Children’s Health, that hosts small practices on its electronic medical record (EMR), it’s important that we work together with small practices to tighten defenses and address cyber threats quickly and decisively,” Arora said in a statement. “We’re all playing in the same sandbox, so we must ensure that our data and systems are protected against threats at all entry points. CyberAid helps us extend our defenses 
Further, at his organization, Bliven works closely with MU Health Care CEO Mitch Wasden and CMIO Thomas Selva, M.D., to lead an ambitious IT agenda. Through a partnership with Cerner, MU Health Care created the Tiger Institute for Health Innovation, which has helped the organization build out an IT infrastructure that supports clinical goals. MU Health has achieved a number of milestones, including a 135 percent increase in patient views of clinical notes since September 2015 as part of its involvement in the OpenNotes movement. Also, 60,000 patient portal accounts have been created since 2012. The Tiger Institute has also helped MU Health Care build an information exchange that links 15 hospitals, 120 clinics and 1,300 providers.
"MU Health Care, like all healthcare providers, was facing an unprecedented amount of change in terms of IT adoption and regulatory compliance. Cerner, as a healthcare technology company, needs key partners that can help create innovations and foster quick adoption and feedback cycles,” Bliven said. “The mission of the Tiger Institute is to transform the health and care of Missourians. Initially, we were focused on the tactics of IT adoption, but we have moved into IT as a strategic asset driving both organizations.”

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