Knight to use CHIO role at Piedmont to reduce the hassle factor with HIT

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Eliminating hassles related to health information is one of the key new duties for Lacy Knight, MD, as he slips into a new role at Piedmont Healthcare.

Knight, a healthcare IT industry veteran, has been named the chief health information officer for the delivery system, which operates 11 hospitals across Georgia, serving approximately 2 million patients.

Knight, an emergency physician by training, most recently worked at Northwestern Medicine in Illinois, brings to Piedmont experience in health informatics and specialized skills in health IT implementations.

Typically, the CHIO role is assigned to a physician with technical skills and the ability to aid physicians during system implementation, helping them to find the right solutions and using their skills to their best capabilities, Knight explains.

He estimates that only about 10 to 15 percent of providers have a CHIO, and only 3 percent to 5 percent of physicians become informatics leaders, although the roles are in higher demand now than in past years.

At Piedmont, Knight is tasked with developing a hassle-free experience for patients and physicians, so the goal is to think how the work being done can inform clinical operations in ways that could improve models of care, such as a single shared record for clinicians and patients.

One focus for the program is to increase EHR usability and develop governance models to see how well the organization is supporting clinicians in their use of health information technologies. For example, Piedmont wants to give physicians portable form factors to make them more mobile and to make it easier for them to find the right information quicker, says Knight. “We’re trying to get the best value with technology so we can give the value for patients by connecting the dots between various entities.”

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