Martin's Point Health Care, Portland, Me., is the winner of the fifth annual Nursing Information Technology Innovation Award. Health Data Management sponsors the award with CARING, the nation's largest educational and networking group for nurses interested in health care information technology.

The award recognizes innovation and excellence in using information technology in the field of nursing to directly improve the quality of care and patient safety while maximizing nursing resources. Martin's Point developed a home-grown Coumadin management application, which assisted nurses in maintaining accurate levels of the popular blood thinner.

In addition to Martin's Point, which claimed the top Gold prize, the other winners included UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside, Pittsburgh, which won the Silver prize for its eRecord applications. Taking the Bronze was Southcoast Hospitals Group, Fall River, Mass., for adopting a Clinical Care Classification System.

Honorable Mentions went to Aurora Health Care, Milwaukee (for introducing evidence-based Knowledge); Middlesex Hospital, Middleton, Conn. (for improving vaccination rates); and Chesapeake Health, Havre de Grace, Md. (for its training strategy).

The award is presented to a team of nursing professionals at a health care organization (hospital, physician group practice or any other care-giving site). At least one of the primary coordinators of the I.T. project must be a nurse. The project must be ongoing. To qualify for this award, a health care organization submits an essay with detailed information on the nursing information technology project and the specific, measurable results of that project. The contribution of nurses to the innovative project must be clearly identified.

The judging panel included: Susan Newbold,  associate professor, nursing informatics, at Vanderbilt School of Nursing, Nashville; Dana M. Womack, manager at McLean, Va.-based Deloitte; Cindy Esser, director of emerging technologies, Butler (Pa.) Memorial Hospital; and Gary Baldwin, editorial director of Health Data Management.

A story in the March issue of Health Data Management explains the program of each winning organization.

--Gary Baldwin

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