Meet the EHR Game Changers

Following are the winners of Health Data Management’s third annual EHR Game Changers recognition program. The program seeks to honor those throughout the health care industry who have made substantial contributions to the development and use of clinical I.T.

William Hersh William Hersh

When the topic turns to health I.T. education and training, the conversation invariably turns to William Hersh. He serves as professor and chair of the Department of Medical Informatics & Clinical Epidemiology at the School of Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University, Portland.

Hersh conceptualized and implemented the first offering of the American Medical Informatics Association 10x10 education program, which has been completed by over 1,000 health care professionals and others in biomedical informatics. Supported by grant funding from the Office of the National Coordinator, he currently directs several education and research programs at OHSU. He's shown here making the case for health I.T. before U.S. political leaders who gathered in the nation's capitol.

William Hersh William Hersh

"Probably my biggest accomplishment has been to serve as the inaugural chair of one of the top academic departments in the field," says Hersh. "Our department at OHSU has been able to sit at the cutting edge in research. Within the environment created by the department, I have been able to pursue my most enjoyable activities, which are teaching and the development of educational programs."

Brad Jannenga Brad Jannenga

Brad Jannenga is president and chief technology officer at WebPT, a Phoenix-based vendor of EHR software for physical therapists. After nearly two years of development work, Jannenga launched WebPT in Feb. 2008. Initially the software provided clinical documentation capabilities, and later expanded to include scheduling, billing, and external communication features which enable users to auto-fax or distribute patient summaries to referring physicians electronically. The company was profitable within one year.

Brad Jannenga Brad Jannenga

WebPT now has a customer base of 3,800 clinics encompassing some 16,000 therapists, assistants and billing crew who use the software. The company has grown to 110 employees at its low-key Phoenix office (show here, with Jannenga discussing strategy with Garland Brown, staff attorney). The software is sold on a subscription basis and is hosted remotely for clinics at a data center in Phoenix.

Stephen Beck Stephen Beck

Stephen Beck, M.D., is the chief medical Information officer at Catholic Health Partners, Cincinnati. When it comes to EHR deployments, Catholic Health Partners defines big. Spanning 24 hospitals in Ohio and neighboring states, the Cincinnati-based health system began an enterprise rollout in early 2010 with the ambitious goal of a five-year completion. Beck is charged with not only promoting adoption of the EHR among physicians and other providers, but guiding the overall strategy for improved clinical outcomes.

Stephen Beck Stephen Beck

Catholic Health Partners has established some ambitious goals for its clinical staff. “We expect 85 percent of all orders to be entered electronically by physicians,” Beck says. And most hospitals in the inpatient system have hit that mark, he says, with the others close to it. The key, Beck says, is ongoing training and promotion of the ideal of physician-driven quality. “We want physicians to understand that when they’re in control and entering orders, it eliminates the risk of inappropriately translated written orders from paper or confusion about orders given over the phone."

Kevin Meldrum Kevin Meldrum

Kevin Meldrum serves as senior systems designer and lead developer for the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration. He has been the lead architect, designer and developer of the VA's EHR. It now has 150,000 clinical and administrative users across the VA. And beyond that, the system—available for free in the public domain--has been adopted by many international hospitals. Currently about 96 percent of physician orders are entered electronically directly by clinicians.

“Working at the VA is amazing,” Meldrum says. “There’s a sense of camaraderie that is facilitated by the common mission of serving vets.”

Meet the Judges Meet the Judges

The judges of this year’s program included Chuck McDevitt and Vince Ciotti. McDevitt is the vice-president and CIO for Self Regional Healthcare, a 414-bed teaching hospital serving 300,000 residents of the seven-county, predominantly the rural Lakeland region of western South Carolina. McDevitt is in charge of all aspects of information technology as well as telecommunications, bio-medical services, and health information management at Self Regional Healthcare. Ciotti has over 40 years experience in the HIS industry: 15 years working for vendors in sales and implementations, as well as 25 years consulting for hospitals in I.T. assessments, system selections, and contract negotiations. He is principal at HIS Professionals LLC. Greg Gillespie, Joe Goedert, and Gary Baldwin from the HDM staff also judged entries. For complete profiles of all the winners, see the January 2013 edition.

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