InformationWeek: The 20 leaders of the health IT pack

Third annual list includes hospital CIOs, exchange leaders

InformationWeek on Monday released its third annual list of "20 Health IT Leaders who are Driving Change," which features CIOs at major U.S. health systems and the individuals turning health information exchanges into a reality.

The 20 health IT leaders on the list are:

  • Albert Oriol, CIO at Rady Children's Hospital;
  • Bert Reese, CIO at Sentara Healthcare ;
  • Carol Steltenkamp, CMIO at UK HealthCare;
  • Cris Ross, CIO of Mayo Clinic;
  • Dan Moriarty, CIO at Atrius Health;
  • Ed Kopetsky, CIO at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital;
  • Ed Marx, CIO at Texas Health Resources;
  • Gretchen Tegethoff, CIO at Athens Regional Health System;
  • James Turnbull, CIO at University of Utah Hospitals & Clinics;
  • Jeffrey Kessler, CIO at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute;
  • Joy Grosser, Vice President and CIO at Iowa Health System ;
  • Kara Marx, CIO at Methodist Hospital of Southern California ;
  • Lawrence Garber, Director of Informatics at Reliant Medical Group;
  • Michael Lee, Director of Informatics at Atrius Health;
  • Michael Matthews, CEO at InHealth and MedVirginia;
  • Michael Minear, CIO at University of California-Davis Health System;
  • Michael O'Rourke, CIO at Catholic Health Initiatives;
  • Michael Smith, CIO at Lee Memorial Health System;
  • Rasu Shrestha, Vice President at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; and
  • Rebecca Kaul, President at UPMC's Tech Development Center .

"Today's health IT leaders must balance practical realities with a sense of purpose," InformationWeek editor Chris Murphy writes, adding, "They're in healthcare to cure the sick and keep people healthy, and they believe IT can help improve care and lower the costs. But the practical piece is that government regulatory requirements dominate the short-term tech agenda, particularly healthcare providers' need to meet Meaningful Use standards to receive electronic health record subsidies."

Each health IT leader on the list is helping his or her organization "strike the right balance between these pressures," according to Murphy.

For example, Mayo Clinic's Ross and his team developed an online service called AskMayoExpert to share more of the clinic's expertise with affiliated practices. The program provides physicians with direct access to Mayo experts, snapshots of specific patient cases, and best practices for treating them. Ross—who has only been with Mayo since 2012—will also be heading up a group that aims to expand Mayo's reach through telemedicine initiatives and other online services.

  • 2013 State of the Health Care IT Union: Join us on May 16 for our IT Care Management Summit.

But sometimes doing "less is more" when it comes to being innovative with technology, Murphy writes. For example, officials at Atrius Health tried to get their elderly patients with chronic conditions to wear digital monitoring devices, but the patients simply refused to adopt them in daily life. "It absolutely made sense," Atrius' Lee told InformationWeek, adding that the project "just didn't work."

"The honest answer is we don't know what changes in processes will truly impact a lot of these patients... and the only way we can learn is to innovate and try and see what the outcome is," Lee says (Murphy, InformationWeek Healthcare, 5/13).


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